Folks, we’re in for a real treat today. The Rensselaer women’s basketball team is lining up to duke it out with the Clarkson University’s Golden Knights. Unfortunately, our usual sports writer is a little under the weather, so I’ll be filling in for them. And boy, do I feel confident.
The game began at the top of what I’m going to assume is the first half, with these two really tall girls jumping in front of each other with a guy in a striped shirt sort of between them. It reminds me of middle school dancing. The more tenacious player, #35 of the Golden Knights, smacks the ball straight into the hands of the Engineers’ #12. It causes a frustrated growl from #35 and the girl to her left involuntarily flinched. #12 makes an attempt to get to the other side of the gym, but the guy in the striped shirt is blowing his whistle and rolling his fists over each other. More middle school dancing. For some reason this causes #12 to stop what she’s doing, even though she’s on a roll, and hand the ball to the striped shirt guy. If that’s what it takes to get the ball from a player, it’s a wonder that nobody else gives it a try.
#42 of the Golden Knights is given the ball by the striped shirt guy and she steps outside the lines on the gym floor. This is only a little bit confusing because I was under the impression that that is not supposed to happen. She chucks it and #9 of the Engineers smacks it out of its given path; it rolls away from where the players are concentrated. A scramble for the ball ensues and one of the girls falls on the ball tucking it into her middle. It causes more whistle blowing and frustrated groans from #35. This girl is starting to scare me.
The playing starts again, and people are running back and forth. RPI’s #7 threw the ball at the circle with crisscrossed strings hanging from it. The ball did not make it into the circle, unfortunately. #7 caught the ball as it bounced back in her direction, but an angry #35 came at her side grabbing the ball and knocking #7 over. There is suddenly a cacophonous rumbling of boos and “fowl!” from the RPI side of the gym.
By the time the second half was over, I had gotten up to leave. Just as I had reached the gym door, a buzzer sounded and the players trotted back out. Perhaps they were doing an encore. I watched them do the jumping thing again, but now everyone was running in opposite directions. It was complete chaos! Even I, a novice, understood that one of the circular things with the rope hanging from it was designated to specific teams; and now everybody was just throwing and running and doing whatever they wanted. And the guy in the striped shirt, who I’ve come to understand is supposed to be some sort of rule-keeper, is just letting it happen!
I was so disturbed that I just kept walking through those gym doors. Encore or not, I was not impressed with this barbaric sport.