Swing and a Drive: Do yourself a favor

 

Jonathan Ferris

Jonathan Ferris || Sports Editor

I assume you’re reading this column either because you are a fan of a Murray State athletic team or you’re my mom or grandma.

If you are indeed a fan of Murray State athletics, you should be squirming in anticipation through humanities class over our Racer athletic teams.

Perhaps it’s the return of a winning football team that has you fired up. We all have the privilege of watching Casey Brockman, one of the most prolific passers in Murray State history, continue to chase down and break Tony Romo’s OVC passing records as he takes one final shot at an OVC championship and a trip to the FCS playoffs.

Oh and not to mention those three- count ‘em-three division one transfers, including a former Ohio State running back who was a four-star recruit out of high school.

If football isn’t your thing, maybe you’re one of those three or four people around here who like basketball.

We all know what happened last year for the men’s team, and we have an extremely experienced roster with six senior players including Isaiah Canaan, who was picked by Dick Vitale as one of the three favorites to win the national player of the year award at season’s end. That’s the Heisman of college basketball, folks.

Never has there been as much hype around a season of Racer basketball as the upcoming one.

Now, while most of us are fairly well informed about our football and basketball, many fail to recognize the other sports storylines on our campus.

Believe it or not, Casey Brockman and Isaiah Canaan are not the only world-class athletes walking this campus.

Did you know Murray State is home to one of the best track & field athletes in the world? Yes I did indeed say world. Did you know she was one round away from a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in London?

How about our seven-time national champion rife team? We have a USA Junior national champion attending our school, and 95 percent of us don’t even know her name.

Now, I’m not naive. As cool as it would be, I recognize there are never going to be fans pitching tents the night before to get into an air rifle match.

My point is, if you are a fan of sports, make it a priority to learn some of these team’s stories. If you love sports for the same reasons I do, you can’t get enough of the high drama that comes at the end of a game or the stories behind the athletes and how they got to where they are in their sports.

Believe it or not, football and basketball aren’t the only sports with underdog comebacks and last-second heroics. It’s up to us as fans to create the atmosphere and support the athletes. I guarantee if you ask any student athlete on this campus they will say we as fans can have a significant impact on the outcome of a game.

We’ve already proven ourselves in the national spotlight. Our fan base received national attention last year for our support of our basketball team. It’s not about calling out the other team or chanting some offensive saying it’s about supporting our athletes-it’s about making sure our athletes know without a doubt they are supported no matter the outcome.

So, I charge each of you reading this (OK maybe not you Mom), to try out a new sport. If you’ve never been to a volleyball game in Racer Arena before, go.

If you’ve never stopped by Reagan Field to catch some baseball. Make some time this spring to see a softball game. Heck, if you’re one of those oddballs who didn’t go to basketball games last year, you have no idea what you’re missing.

Go and be loud and possibly make a fool of yourself, because I guarantee it will be appreciated by the team, the coaches and those watching from afar.

Make some time, perhaps join the Stampede, and don’t miss your chance to watch world-class athletes, who live and eat and study and are in the same boat as you and I.

Oh, and it’s all free.

It’s an opportunity that’s unique to the college experience, so don’t let it pass you by.