Week after week, the sports sections in the national media look strikingly similar to tabloid pseudo-journalism.
Baseball players are packing needles, NBA ballers are packing heat and Tiger is packing as many women as possible into his schedule of infidelity.
Celeb gossip has had enough of Hollywood and Miami Beach and taken up residence in sports bars and boxscore space. TSN, TMZ – same diff.
Except in the OUA.
For what it’s worth, Ontario University Athletics has maintained that level of purity in sport that has otherwise been frustratingly lacking at other levels.
Athletes here know that every game and every meet matters. They show up to play, play hard and do so without the glitz, glam, bodyguards and after-party mug shots.
It’s incredibly refreshing.
Only in university sport can you find a student-athlete who is balancing J.S. Mill with jump shots, trigonometry with tackling and lab time with lap times – get the picture?
So why not show a little support?
On a few occasions every year, the department of athletics takes the opportunity to showcase Guelph Gryphons athletics on a bigger-than-usual stage. Saturday is one of those chances.
The upcoming Frosty Mug event at the downtown Sleeman Centre is the highlight of the Gryphon men’s hockey season, an opportunity to escape their campus confines and prove to fans that university hockey is an exciting and very affordable means of entertainment, not to mention a great way to support your fellow students.
With a big venue, big prizes and big hype, Saturday night’s affair promises to be a hockey homecoming of sorts.
The only piece missing is the crowd.
Drawing attention and attendance to Gryphons athletics has been a sensitive and difficult issue that the department of athletics has wrestled with for a number of years.
Why does the interest in university sports in Guelph pale in comparison to other Ontario universities?
A lack of advertising dollars? Misguided marketing campaigns? An abundance of alternative forms of local entertainment? A general lack of interest in sports among U of G students? Take your pick.
I’ll go with ‘E’ – the multiple choice bailout answer of ‘all of the above’ seems most appropriate here.
But for once, let’s buck the trend. Eff the norm! These athletes deserve it.
Attendance at Gryphon events this season has been solid, but not spectacular. Winning draws a crowd and little by little, people are starting to take an interest in the success of our varsity athletes.
For three hours of your time and a few bucks to get in the door, Saturday is a chance to see university sport at its finest. Dedicated, competitive and remarkably talented athletes will take to the ice against the visiting Waterloo Warriors at 7:30 p.m. in what promises to be entertaining match up.
The Gryphons have come out of the holiday break playing their best hockey of the season, having recently upset the likes of Western and Brock and taking Waterloo and UOIT to the brink in a pair of edge-of-your-seat shootouts.
Show a little Gryphon pride this weekend and check out the Frosty Mug.
For what it’s worth, it sure beats the Leafs!