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Sports ties together dorm life

Nov. 16, 2004

By RIAZ DHANANI, reporter

The power of sports can be a magical thing.

I have been blessed with the chance of being a community leader in Penland Residence Hall this school year and have seen the power of sports work in wonderful ways. Whenever there is a big game coming on TV, it almost seems inevitable that the entire hall is intensely watching the game and the hallways are completely deserted in Penland. Every couple of minutes, in unison, you can hear echoes of cheering or a plethora of boos coming from the entire building. Of course, this is when a representative from each watching party tends to come out into the hallway and shout at the top of their lungs in support or disarray for their team, letting all of Penland know how they feel about the last incredible play. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the words "Astros rule!" or "Cowboys suck!" this year.

Oh yes, the power of sports can create such a scene. A community leader cherishes moments such as these because a certain sense of camaraderie is built between the residents, particularly in the men's residence halls. Whether it's Lance Berkman hitting a home run, Dirk Nowitzki nailing a three-pointer or Vinny Testaverde throwing another interception, the boys have something to profusely talk about for the next few days. Sports can be a great conversation starter. I know if I see one of my residents and have nothing to talk about, I can easily say "Did you see the big game last night?" and get at least a five-minute conversation going.

Participating in sports is another way the power of sports builds its enigma. Here at Baylor, intramurals bond people together who otherwise might not ever know one another. I had the privilege of playing with my hall intramural team this fall and getting to know each of my residents simply by playing and practicing with them. They hadn't known each other before the season. Through interaction and active participation, the guys on my hall came together and grew as friends.

I remember one game when it was absolutely pouring outside and many people thought the games would be canceled. We ended up playing anyway, and we had the best time possible. There I was, dripping wet and barely able to run through the extremely muddy field, watching my guys laugh and have such a great time playing flag football. My guys made the most out of the rain that night and had a great time.

I truly got to see the power of sports enlighten my team this season, as we all became really good friends. We had a great "Cinderella" season and built relationships along the way. I have learned that the power of sports can bring together masses of people and even the small crowds, bonding them together.