What will be the next varsity sport at Macalester?

By Carly Klingensmith

With all due respect to mainstream varsity sports-I am a softball player after all-I often find myself craving unusual athletic events that incorporate a broader repertoire of athletic abilities than the basic kicking, swinging, throwing and racing. Consequently, I have created a list of 10 outlandish sports that I wish I could watch and compete in at the varsity level at Macalester.1. Ping Pong
.why not? It is an Olympic sport, so there’s no reason why it doesn’t have varsity level potential. It’s time for people who have spent mastering the game and perfecting their strokes countless hours in garages and basements to be acknowledged. Plus, we have great facilities with the addition of the new table in the Leonard Center.

2. Aussie Rules Football
If you have not yet run into Daniel Kerwin or the Macalester Australia New Zealand Adoration Club (Mac ANZAC), chances are that Aussie football does not mean much to you. This, however, is a sad state of affairs. Although I am still not completely sure I understand the rules, it involves a lot of kicking of an oblong ball, particularly through four posts at either end of the field. It is a crazy sport that involves a lot of different athletic abilities and in addition, is a lot of fun to watch. Mac ANZAC has started playing it on campus so you should learn all about it, for thel day when it reaches the varsity level.

3. Inner Tube Water Polo
The sport for those who lack a certain amount of stamina and fortitude needed for normal water polo or other athletic endeavors. It’s fun to play, entertaining to watch and still requires a certain amount of coordination. And what better way to use Macalester’s new Riley Pool facilities?

4. Downhill Skiing
As an avid skier, I watch the powdery snow that falls from November to March with great disappointment. It would be a skier’s goldmine, if only Minnesota had a few more hills and didn’t get quite so cold. Competitive skiing is an intense and exhilarating athletic event and it’s a shame to see all that lovely snow melt without the ability to ski on it.

5. Broom Ball
A classic Minnesota game and all that is needed is ice, brooms and a ball. The object is simple: use your broom to score a goal. The execution, in sneakers with no padding, can be dangerous which makes it all more the fun. I mean, wouldn’t it be exciting to kick Carleton’s butts at a sport they promote so obnoxiously on their campus tours?

6. Capture the Flag
Imagine that it is midnight; you’re dressed in black, hiding behind Weyerhauser and about to encroach on enemy territory. You’re certain that the flag is hidden behind Old Main, but three St. Thomas students stand guard, patrolling diligently. What do you do? This dilemma could become a normal occurrence with the addition of a varsity Capture the Flag team on campus. Not only would this sport involve fitness, speed and agility, but it would help students, especially first years, learn to navigate their way around campus.

7. Competitive Rock Band
Banging on drums, strumming a guitar, plucking a base and singing-this video game can work up a sweat! It also requires a decent amount of coordination, especially using the drum’s base pedal, and is definitely a team effort.

8. Hot Dog Eating
Can you down 50 hotdogs in 12 minutes? I didn’t think so, but Takeru Kobayashi, one of the best competitive eaters in the world, sure can. Everyone loves to eat, but this sport is not all fun and games. Kobayashi has to exercise to prevent gaining body fat and lifts weights rigorously to increase his metabolism. Even after eating 100 roasted pork buns in 12 minutes, Kobayashi still sports less than 10% body fat. For those of you who think you can handle it, I’d start training now.

9. Bocce Ball
It takes great skill, concentration and hand-eye coordination to make your brightly-colored bocce ball land as close as possible to the small target ball (also known as a pallino). It may be a simple concept, but it takes years to master the art of a perfect bocce throw. The beautiful green grass around campus provides a perfect place to practice, just in case dreams really do come true.

10. Weightlifting
What better way to show off all your hard work in the Leonard Center than competitive weightlifting? It would be entertaining to watch and it gives men and women an excuse to show off their guns, eight packs and bulging thigh muscles. Just think: if we had varsity weightlifters roaming campus, nobody would dare mess with Macalester.