Adam Kaminski | The Cool Column
Wanted: naked & painted chests
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 09:09
If it weren’t for my roommate, I don’t think I would entirely believe Tufts football existed. I see fields, athletic shirts and broad, muscular, somehow consistently shirtless students, but never in combination. I see Tufts football calendars, but forget where, when and on what takeout menus. I see workout equipment but am utterly petrified at the prospect of completing a set of “floor wipers,” whatever demon exercise that may be. I see, but I do not understand, Confucius says.
My roommate, Thomas Gregory, a gargantuan offensive linebacker, has shown me the light. Not in a violent, knock-me-unconscious-because-I-don’t-dispose-of-my-pungent-trash fit of aggression, but in a revealing, considerately non-physical tone of understanding, he’s convinced me that Tufts football does, in fact, exist. How? Because I know no college student would wake up at 6 a.m. for an apocryphal “practice.” By the time he’s finished his “floor wipers,” I’m rolling out of bed, stumbling to the bathroom in search of “ass wipers.”
He’s done more than convince me of Tufts football’s existence, however. He’s maybe, quite possibly, converted me into a fan. Anyone determined to wrench himself from bed at such ungodly hours of the morning deserves some attention, at least in the form of stripping, body-painting and primal bellowing. He’s sacrificed time, sleep and protein packs. I can sacrifice my reputation of tame personality. Don’t think I’m humoring my friend Tom, either; I’m 90 percent sure he will not read this column.
The dedication of our football players, despite calling into question my own physique and exercise habits, is something to be proud of, not something to ignore. It is worth appreciation and celebration. So why haven’t I found a single other “fan” with whom to bellow and celebrate? It’s not like Jumbo football hasn’t won a game in two years, right?
Google was quick to enlighten. Jumbo football hasn’t won a game in two years. Of the past thirteen seasons, we’ve ended only three with a winning record. To reconfigure this data in a way Tufts students can relate: our athletic GPA is well below 2.00. We are fair weather, unreliable and lousy fans. We’re about as lousy as our football team.
Sporting events, like all performances, Tom agrees, require the reciprocal process of spectator and performer. The two fuel each other, symbiotically giving his partner his gasoline: the hype to bash foes while the crowd watches foes being bashed. Without fans for gas, the energy required to sprint, tackle and touch other men’s more sensitive parts may be lacking. Surely one’s motivation can’t solely come from the guy making him “floor wipe.”
Already, Tufts football isn’t off to a great start. Already, we’ve lost to Wesleyan by a landslide, with the uniquely football final score of 52 to 9. We were 0-1 before most students knew the season had started. I’m not suggesting a fan bus would have made a difference, but doesn’t 52 to 10 sound marginally more respectable? If we want to win, to beat all of those schools we (I, grrr...) didn’t get into, we’re going to have to support our team. At least let’s acknowledge our team. They shouldn’t have to earn attention with victory. In a supportive community like Tufts, determination, effort and grueling, unthinkable exercise should be tantamount.
Our first home game (Oct. 5) is against Bowdoin, currently another 0-1 team. If you’re up, recuperated from Friday night shenanigans, (and if you’ve read this far into my column, thank you) stop by the turf. Tom Gregory and the football team have been up for hours and could use your naked, painted chest. If you need help remembering the date it’s definitely printed on some takeout menu, somewhere.
Adam Kaminski is a freshman and has not yet declared a major. He can be reached at Adam.Kaminski@tufts.edu.