For the Love of Football: A Leagues Story

 

A large number of students drop their some of their favourite sports or hobbies once they start university. Many post-secondary students do not participate in extra-curricular activities at all and those who do join clubs or teams tend to stick with the activities they already know. The story of one Flag Football team illustrates the benefits of sticking with an activity you love and of trying something new.

On a brisk Sunday night in November, I found myself out at ThunderBird Park watching the playoff games for the Point Grey Flag Football League. The stadium lights were cutting through the heavy rain and I was practically miserable. The players, however, were decked out in layers with their team shirts overtop of sweatshirts and bulky rain jackets. For some reason, inexplicable to me, a drenched onlooker, everyone was smiling. I joked around with a few of the teams about how I felt bad for them playing in the downpour, but they all said they were just happy to be taking a break from studying, to be hanging out with their friends, and to be getting active.

One team, Fidlar was sporting home-made purple jerseys with their team name on the front. The Fall season was their first time playing in Rec’s Flag Football League, but as a group they have participated in Storm the Wall and curling, and they tackle Day of the Longboat every year.


One player Eric Neal convinced the group to register for the league because he missed the game he played throughout high school. As a teenager, he was his team’s backup quarterback, and he never really got the chance to show what he can do on the field. But with Fidlar, he was a star player. In the words of one of his teammates “he quarterbacked our team to victory! (By which I mean a semifinal loss).” Still pretty incredible for a first-time team!

What really struck me about this team was the story of another Fidlar player, James Wasteneys. James had never played football before when his friends convinced him to join the team. As soon as he got on the field, he wanted to be a part of every play, especially the offensive ones which of course lead to touchdowns. He quickly developed football fever, and now he begs his teammates to go out and toss the ball around multiple times a week!

Congrats to Fidlar! Even though they didn’t win the league, their story is part of what makes intramural sports such an important aspect of university life. If Eric hadn’t started the team, his football career might have ended in high school. If James hadn’t joined, he wouldn’t have discovered his love of the game!

Registration for winter semester leagues has closed, but many teams will be seeking free agents and of course you can always play during drop-in times to play!