19 June 2007

i find myself in the odd position of feeling what definitely qualifies as school spirit. now, i don't dislike uc irvine. in spite of some departmental shuffling (to put it nicely) in the past few years, it's been a good place to do graduate work. but i've never really found myself tracking any of its sporting events. in fact, with its refusal to have a football team, the university has a bit of an anti-school-spirit, at least in traditional sports-related ways, feel to it.

but yesterday i went to ray's to get an early lunch. and the customer behind me in line asked them to tune the television to espn 2. i was a bit surprised to find that uci's baseball team was just starting a game. college world series. against cal state fullerton. a southern california showdown. and it was win or go home. i watched the first two innings in roy's and then forced myself away. silverian exam and all. but i tracked down espn's college sports scoreboard and checked the score every so often through the afternoon. after tying up the game at 4-4 in the 7th, they played another six innings. that's right six more. for a total of 13. before winning 5-4 in the bottom of the 13th, setting a record for the longest game in cws history.

so this afternoon i tuned into espn's scoreboard from the uci library again to monitor progress as they played arizona state (who beat uci 5-4 in their opening game last saturday night). when arizona was up 7-4 in the 8th, which is when i left the library, i pretty much decided the anteaters were probably on their way home. much to my surprise, when i checked in from home a bit later, it was bottom of the 10th (another extra-innings game) and they were tied up at 7. with the anteaters at bat. with loaded bases and only one out, the anteaters delivered. 8-7 final. they set another cws record in the process--first team to win extra-innings games on consecutive days in the series. and now they face the defending national champions--the oregon beavers (sure makes for an interesting animal kingdom face-off)--two days running. that is two days running if they win tomorrow night (here's to seeing them win without going into extra innings...).

and i find myself feeling more school spirit than i have in more than a decade. ZOT!!


  1. Ditto. I go to Georgetown, and was vaguely aware that we had reached the sweet sixteen a few months ago. I stepped out of the library late one (Friday - ah grad school) night about thirty seconds after the game, and was swept away in a tidal wave of screaming undergrads with painted faces. It was actually kind of exhilarating.

  2. it is exhilerating. and after hours in a library--well, i think i would have given my eye teeth to have been sitting in the crowd at the stadium during either of those games. just to feel the enthusiasm and livingness of it all.

    sadly, the anteaters lost to the beavers yesterday. but having set two records in their first trip to the cws, they made a pretty good show of their outing.

  3. Alas, for the Anteaters! And for the Hoyas, for that matter - though before they flamed out I made it to a local campus dive for the Elite Eight and ruined my voice in between cheese fries.