SRJC hockey converts sports-hater to fan

Isabel Johnson, Opinion Editor

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As I screamed insults at Sac State’s goalie and drank some more apple juice, I realized that for the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed watching a sport. I’ve tried baseball, football, soccer, tennis and even accidentally watched golf once. I just couldn’t understand how fans get so fired up over a game; how they crowd together and share that strange camaraderie that comes from placing their hope and even faith in a team.
Sitting with a couple friends at a freezing ice rink, surrounded by boisterous hockey fans, I had an epiphany: those people with the painted faces and giant foam fingers may not be as crazy as I thought.
Watching the SRJC Polar Bears on the ice was a revelation. At last I feel like I can understand the manic obsession with their teams that many people share. I watched JC guys slam hulking Sac State players up against the wall, 10 feet in front of me. It was amazing.
Granted, there are plenty of rules I still don’t understand; my grasp of hockey is they skate around, hit each other and put the puck in the net. But it’s really easy to grasp those main points, and vastly more entertaining to watch than anything else I’ve seen.
I’m pretty sure most students at SRJC are aware that we have a good athletics program. Our teams place well in conferences, our coaches are well respected and our home games are packed with fans. Their fields and training are paid for, their equipment is professionally cleaned after every game and their uniforms are replaced on a regular basis. Coaches are paid for their time and their games are well publicized on campus.
The Polar Bears on the other hand are a club. This means they get no funding from SRJC. They have to pay for their own ice time at Snoopy’s Home Ice and their coaches volunteer their time. They raise their funds through ads and sponsorships. We have heard all about every other JC team to do well; we’ve barely heard anything on campus about the Polar Bears’ success.
Last Friday the Polar Bears beat UC Davis, 15-3. Our team looked charmingly ghetto in their older-than-some-players jerseys, especially compared to Davis’ pristine logos. While I’m happy that our other teams are so good, I find their sports boring, so I think the JC needs to give some support to the hockey team. They’ve earned it by humiliating plenty of opposing teams on the ice and providing us prime opportunities for heckling.
I’m a hugely nerdy computer lover. I hate going to crowded places and prefer staying home with my video games to almost any evening entertainment. I’ve now been to three Polar Bear games in a row, and intend to see as many more as possible this season.

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