Photo Courtesy of Campus Recreation
The blazing sun mercilessly beat down on campus on a scorching September Saturday. Without a cloud in the sky, there would be no obstructing and no escaping the vitamin D overload delivered by the Southern California sun. Many found refuge in the safe haven of the Caf’s air-conditioned climate, while some suffered through the agony of the not so air-conditioned atmosphere of Pepperdine’s student housing.
But there was an elite bracket of brazened bruisers who would shun all heat alleviating amenities. A round-up of rigorous ruffians who would brave the elements, despite the potential incapacitation of sun burn. Who are these fearless warriors? They are the members of campus recreation’s intramural flag football league.
The first Saturday of fall delivered the return of football to a campus that has been jonesing for the start of flag football season. Super teams like “Jetblach” and “Phat Pandas” would finally get the chance to display their prowess, while teams like “this is a good team name,” would get the opportunity to prove that they are indeed a real team, complete roster and all, despite the haphazard nature of their name.
The furious animosity between teams was palpable on this steamy afternoon. Opponents’ desire to win shredded all niceties that’d otherwise be offered to fellow students. It was as if no one told the players that the first week’s matchups wouldn’t be officially recorded in the season standings. Official game or not, swallowing the vomit-inducing pill of defeat was unthinkable.
“I wanted to win,” said sophomore Ezekiel Zindler, the incredibly articulate backup QB for “Jetblach”.
Zindler, who would end up losing bigtime in his week 1 matchup, wasn’t the only one to sport a winning sentiment.
“I want to win each game like a kid in middle school wants to win a game of dodge ball in gym class,” said “ATO-Animal House” sophomore wide receiver Quinn Hascall, who apparently had a very competitive gym-class atmosphere in his youth.
Assuming each team has the affluence to splurge on the mandatory $150-deposit, the flag football league will feature 11 squads duking it out for a shot at ultimate glory. And by ultimate glory, I mean a pat on the back, and sole possession of the highly coveted flag football championship trophy… Actually, hold up, they don’t award a trophy. But who doesn’t appreciate having the knowledge of superiority.
“If we win it all this year, we’ll know that we were better than all of the other teams,” said the logically-thinking Quinn Hascall.
Though Pepperdine may not have a real football team, the passion that the student body has for IM flag football is clear. Perhaps it’s a good thing the university doesn’t have a football team. If Pepperdine did, then people would be at the actual game rather than playing intramurals. Plus, if there were a real football team than I would have to write about that instead of writing stories that actually matter, like this one.
Follow Steven Baer on Twitter: @StevenBaerJr