SLU community needs to find inner Billiken spirit

Rumbling stands bear the excitement of thousands of woops and stomps as the ball gently slides into the basket. A collective roar of joy consumes the arena, brightening our souls in a fiery display of camaraderie and school spirit.

Arenas all over the country host such scenes of delight and celebration daily with a variety of sports, not solely basketball. Why is it that here at SLU, we hear only the empty echoes of cheers? Our solidarity in school spirit vanishes into ghostly empty chairs at sporting events.

We are proud to say that our administration does a great job attempting to bolster student attendance for sports. With a myriad of banners and free food, organizers battle our pervasive apathy towards sports with marginal success. Their latest attempt to rename Blue Crew is part of a larger scheme to nurture the solidarity that many other universities have for their sports teams.

‘Ole Miss, Tennessee,  USC, U of I, Mizzou – students who attend these universities center their social activities around football. Their fame is augmented by ESPN coverage. Duke basketball has a fan-following of epic proportions.Innumerable other schools have packed stadiums for other sports. Here, we have an odd dynamic where SLU touts our strong sense of community while lacking a visual communal support. Why do we have this discrepancy? It is incorrect to pinpoint our lack of a football team as a cause; Xavier, Marquette, and Gonzaga, fellow Jesuit universities, don’t have football, and they have respectable turnouts. It isn’t unfathomable that perhaps we need better teams. While we do have soccer, it’s sadly undervalued in the U.S. Our basketball team is poised for growth, but we haven’t reached our potential.

A plausible cause lies with us; we shunt sports to the bottom of social calendars. We prefer to spend time with friends in selective bubbles. This apathy lowers morale, which leads to losses and dismal reputations.

In a culture that emphasizes individualism and uniqueness, it is difficult to grasp the idea of unification. Sports invite us to bond over human achievement in its physical prowess. SLU needs our school spirit. So let’s paint our pride in blue and white over the vast silver stands. Let’s make our presence known. Let’s roar.

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