Although the 2010 World Cup in South Africa might still be a distant bleep on the radar screen, an early wave of soccer frenzy overtook the HBS campus this past semester with Section E emerging as the 2009 RC Intramural Soccer Champions.
Boasting a tremendous undefeated track record throughout the season, Section E clinched the title with a score of 5 to 3 in the final game against Section A (Mmm whatcha say?? Thatcha wish your section was hot like E??)
And in a season mired by quite a few bumps, broken legs (we love you Lyn Lewis!) and bruises, this was no easy feat. Were we ever daunted? No. Why? Discipline. Hard work. Oh, and our infallible athleticism, resolute determination and unparalleled fortitude on the field. As declared by a fellow section mate, Mo Ghonaim, “Our team made it look EEEasy!”
Brian Vickery, an active player this season, gave a rather acute assessment of our spectacular win in that last decisive game: “The key to our victory was the vast discrepancy in physical attractiveness between our team and Section A’s team.ÿ It was clear early in the game that A was intimidated by our stunning good looks and, coupled with a large audience, the discrepancy became a PR nightmare for Section A.ÿ Ultimately, it proved to be the difference.”
Josh Solera, our section athletic rep, thought it came down to another differentiator that day: “One of the biggest factors in the match’s outcome was clearly the mascots: an emu is clearly more fierce and vicious than Section A’s cuddly panda bear (not to mention that the emu costume is far more sanitary). And our team was fantastic – Jonathan “Zee German Panzer” Mueller played stout defense, Ryan Ashley controlled the midfield, and our Latin Americans, Federico “Fede” Alvarez-Demalde and Dan Rottenberg, were better than their Latin Americans.”
After talking with a few more of my section mates, it became evident that our championship title could be further attributed to the 4 P’s – Planning to go to yet another recruiting event and then bailing to Passionately Play soccer and forget (momentarily) about finding a job with a Purpose.
But the overwhelming majority of the section players I polled referenced the Section E fans as having the greatest impact on our victory:
“Our fans really came through for us in the final. We knew Section A was gunning for us after we tied them during the regular season and that they were planning to have a huge fan turnout. Section E fans rose to the occasion and came out in full force to cheer us on to victory. From a player’s perspective, it was probably the most fun soccer game I’ve played in since high school because of the fan environment. Our fans provided us with that extra motivation to really go out there and give it everything we had for the full 40 minutes. My body was sore from sustaining a couple of bumps and bruises for at least 2 days afterwards, but the pain was definitely worth it in the end.”
– Ryan Ashley
“It was truly wonderful to have such an amazing turnout of fans on both sides – the cheering, chanting and singing was deafening. I thought a fight might break out – not on the field but in the stands. I’m pretty sure we would have won that too.”
– Josh Solera
“The fans were awesome, simply amazing. To have such an unconditionally supportive crowd was a great feeling and helped us turn around the final game.”
– Emil Staykov
And in the words of such a fan, the ultimate fan, Fran-Fredane Fraser: “I attended the games because those who can’t (like myself), support. And since E is my family, there is nowhere else I’d rather be than with the guys and gals of E. What more can I say other than we certainly know how to put on a show!”
Fran, I think that says it all.