Friday, June 13, 2008

Football out at ReDee the Notre Dame of the North

Football, Canadian or American, not Soccer, is out at Redeemer University College, as an official sport in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association and Canadian Colleges Athletic Association. The format of the sport was flag, but that did not really matter, the OCCA and CCCA really did not kill the sport. The member institution schools did.

I read a note today from a ReDee student to remain incognito, I nicknamed her Golden Arm, after she nearly decapitated a receiving Dutchmen flying to catch her quick pass. Dutch, blonde haired and blue eyed, she would likely fit the stereotypical model for those just new to Redeemer, but actually the RUC is stereotypically her, as like her, it excels in the arts, that being theatre, music and of course art. The online note, spoke of never kissing a football player, as they did not even know of any football players, yet unbeknownst to her, there were at least half a dozen that could have been named as such. This is reality, whether intentional or not, ReDee has lost the square inch within that game then, therefore can not go the whole nine yards for it at present and has lost the battle now. Redeemer, I have argued in the past, must maintain its elite standards in academics to continue being the Ontario English Protestant replica of the Québec French Catholic Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf. However, we must remember that its growing reputation of being the Notre Dame of the North, must allow for expansion into athletics, even if like the University of Notre Dame starting out in 1887, its game must remain independent, diverse and with a tradition of excellence that wins more than just games but hearts, minds and souls.

Redeemer, as a highly regarded academic institution, almost actually discarded its men's basketball program this last year, a situation that brings any talk of expansion into the area of athletics or a role as trailblazers in the sport of football as only chatter. But if the RUC does not look towards even the basics like track and field, with an all weather track to boot around the beloved soccer field, then it will be relegated in this area behind even the status quo of the day. A matter that will keep stereotypes in place for years to come, unless we look to that which is unconventional, that can bring us positive change once and for all.