Intramural Sports: for true Badger fans

first_imgEvery student who has ever attended a Badger game has probably said to him- or herself, “I wish I could play Division I athletics for Wisconsin.” For just one day, how great it would be to walk around campus with your chest pumped out, cruising on your complementary scooter while sporting your fancy Wisconsin athletics sweatshirt, only given to Badger athletes?Your average Joe sports fan perhaps dabbled in some high school athletics — but upon coming to Wisconsin, you have been relegated to the controlled chaos of the Grateful Red, Crease Creatures or Section P at Camp Randall. But thanks to the good people at the UW-Madison Division of Recreational Sports, common athletes like you and me can compete in anything from ice hockey to dodge ball. You won’t get the fanfare, rowdy student sections or “extra” benefits that define revenue sports, but participants of intramural sports get the opportunity to be Badgers once a week. Whatever your heart desires — basketball, ultimate Frisbee, golf or even a Texas hold’em tournament — Intramural Sports has something for you.Once you have gathered up a bunch of your buddies and determined who is going to wait online at eight in the morning (the only annoying part of IM sports), prepare to engage in the most competitive activity of your college career since you fought with your roommate over which college football game to watch Saturday night. The key to a championship-caliber intramural team is knowing when it’s time to mess around and when it’s time to play like Pete Rose in the 1970 All-Star Game. On that note, I would like to tell you about the Donkey Punchers, the class of the intermediate intramural ice hockey league and a team filled with the necessary personnel — or should I say characters — to win the coveted intramural championship T-shirt.The Punchers have been through a lot in five semesters of competition — some good, some bad and some ugly.In the spring of 2005, the sixth-seeded Punchers overcame all the odds to win the intermediate championship in stunning fashion. For their impressive efforts, a team photo still stands as the centerpiece of the IM sports poster at the SERF. Then there was the bad. Thursday the Punchers were eliminated from the postseason after being routed by the Fukijamas 6-1 in the championship game. Unfortunately for the Punchers, two of their top forwards were sidelined with an accounting test. Let’s just say the professors didn’t respond kindly to the thought of accommodating these hard-working student athletes. Then, of course, there is the ugly. The great thing about IM sports is that it gives participants the opportunity to relive their high school glory days. Unfortunately for a lot of people, that means ripping someone’s head off because they accidentally threatened your manhood. In IM sports emotions run high, probably a lot higher than they should, and that leads to scuffles, fisticuffs and the occasional all-out brawl. Let’s just say the D.P.’s take the team very seriously and have earned somewhat of a reputation around the league. I’m not telling you about the Donkey Punchers because of their extremely clever team name. I’m telling you about the Punchers because over the years they have concocted a recipe for intramural success. The problem with IM sports is that someone always has something more important to do. Whether it is homework, extra-curricular activities or just plain laziness, most college kids would rather sit on their rear ends than trek over to the Natatorium. Because of this, every IM squad needs a strong contingent of players who put the team above all else.That leads me to my next point. Every IM team needs ringers. These guys can’t commit to playing for the full season, but because of their outstanding athletic ability, they are allowed to play one game and get on the roster, making them eligible for the postseason. Let’s just say it’s a flawed system, and most teams take advantage of the loophole. Every hockey team needs a goal scorer, and more importantly, every team needs that guy who goes exclusively by his last name. Shoop happens to be the Punchers most prolific goal scorer, and nobody knows his first name, and nobody wants to. Every IM team needs a leader. Someone who tells the team they will not be drinking beers on the bench tonight or that instead they will use mixers because they are less suspicious. On the Punchers that role belongs to Tyler. Tyler is the guy who tries to rile up the troops at intermission by spitting every hockey cliché known to man. He’s no Mark Messier but he gets the job done.I say “leader” and not “captain” when referring to Tyler because that title belongs to the goalie. Only in intramural sports can your goalie be the captain, which is totally illegal in any legitimate hockey league. In addition to being the goaltender, Garrett has the terrible job of collecting the money — the most thankless job for any intramural participant, but if you don’t pay, you don’t play, so find yourself a collector. No IM team is complete without role players. These are the guys who maybe aren’t the most gifted athletes but nevertheless bring something unique to the table. Every IM team needs some muscle. It doesn’t matter if your enforcer is of the petite-psycho variety, such as the “Sopranos” Christopher Moltisanti, or the Burly Ox type from “Saved by the Bell.” IM sports are filled with hotheads, so you need that guy who cares more about his right hook than his right hand. No IM team is complete without a few jokesters, the guys who blurt out one-liners on the bench like George Costanza on a blind date. For the Punchers, that job is designated for Brent and B.J, whose knowledge of the Mighty Ducks trilogy always lightens the mood during a losing effort. Most importantly, every IM team needs heart. Not Hart, the Punchers third-line forward and honorary mascot (also a must for IM teams), but heart, that burning desire inside every athlete to achieve greatness. Intramural sports probably don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but for most college students it is the last opportunity you will ever have to be part of a team. And that is an opportunity all Badger fans should take advantage of while they can.Andrew is a junior majoring in journalism. In you’re interested in starting an intramural dodge ball team contact him at [email protected]last_img

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