It’s Royal Rumble night at OTP Manor and the one night of the year when friends and folks gather to throwback behavior and passions to a simpler time when all we cared about was getting the newest Trapper Keepers or what was going to happen on the next GI Joe. If you listen to the OTPcast, you know that Jason calls fans of professional wrestling “booger eaters” and the “lowest common denominator” of society. I can say with absolute certainty I don’t eat anything from my nose and there’s bound to be lower forms of existence than getting together with several buddies, drinking too much beer, and tossing out 80s catchphrases from our favorite wrestlers gone by.
I did get to thinking though that if BSU athletics had a Royal Rumble, I’m not sure who I would put as the favorite. If we limited it to current athletes only, I’d say Nick Miles would be my selection. If we open it up to alumni, I’d have to go with Sean Baker. The Souleater knows no quit, and he would be damn near impossible to eliminate. Jason Whitlock would be up there as well, as Rashiki was a real pain in the ass to dump over the top rope too. I’d watch.
Should a Cardinal Royal Rumble ever exist, and I nominate myself and Chris Ulm to coordinate, the amount of funds raised would be HUGE. And speaking of huge funds raised, the Cardinal Commitment Campaign has surpassed its goal of $20M by $600k. While I’d like to say I’m taking some of the credit because of stories we ran, segments on the OTPcast we did, or the fact that a fraternity brother was the chair of the campaign, ALL the credit should go to Cardinal nation for stepping up and putting their money where their mouth is in relation to overall program success. For a lot of years, I’ve heard fans of multiple sports bemoan the lack of champagne results while through a lack of support forcing the U to operate athletics on a beer budget, so it is awesome that friends of the feather stepped up and made this happen.
Some other news from around the Nest…
The men’s basketball team lost a conference home game to Kent State on Saturday to drop them to 7-10 on the season and 2-4 in the MAC. I am by no means an expert on MAC basketball and frankly, haven’t been exceptionally well versed about BSU’s basketball program since the days of Ray McCallum and Tim Buckley, but it seems like the Coach Whitford era in Muncie perhaps had an even lower starting point than people thought. It appears to my exceptionally untrained eye that this may be yet another in the “prepping for next year” train of experiential learning. Perhaps we can sneak Brian Burns, Theron Smith, Petey Jackson and Matt McCollum back for a few games. I doubt anyone would notice. Right?
The women’s basketball team also fell on Saturday in their home contest against MAC East leader Ohio 60-53. The Cards sit at 9-9 overall and 5-2 in MAC play, so there is not only a ton of season left, there’s also well-placed belief that the Cards are capable of a post-season appearance and/or run. So that’s some good in an otherwise pretty suck BSU athletics news.
In what’s more negative news but sprinkled with at least a little bit of optimism, the Cardinals gymnastics squad did lose their MAC opener to CMU, but did score a season high total score in the process. They also set season-high event scores on the vault, the floor exercise, and the bars. I set some high scores in bars at my time at BSU, but I’m fairly positive that this score isn’t about Golden Tee. The Gym Cards are back in action Feb 2 when they travel to Southern Utah.
Women’s tennis also lost on Saturday, a home contest against Wright State 4-3. Nos. 1 and 2 singles, Courtney Wild and Bethany Moore both picked up wins and are both 2-0 on the season. Well done! Collegiate tennis doesn’t get a ton of publicity or eyes, but it’s really enjoyable. I’d strongly suggest you check out a match if you can. On the men’s side of the tennis ledger, the men’s team dropped two matches to Wisconsin-Green Bay and Illinois this weekend, but Lucas Anderson/Patrick Elliott and Ray Leonard/Andrew Stutz won 1 and 2 doubles respectively, and Anderson won #2 singles. Someone will at some point have to explain to me how collegiate tennis is scored, as it appears 8 matches were completed, but only 7 points were awarded between BSU and UW-GB. Math on a Sunday, or any day really, is not my strongest suit.
In case you were unaware, it’s men’s volleyball season and your Cardinals have started 2015 with quite the bang, losing only their first match of the season on Friday at Harvard, and rising to #14 in the national rankings. Admittedly, I know nothing about volleyball other than the volleyball players I lived behind in grad school were fun to hang out with. However, even with limited knowledge I can assume that the aura of Harvard carries over to their volleyball team. I would imagine it’s a whole court full of Winklevoss twins, and those guys were yutzes. The Cards did rebound on Saturday and sweep Sacred Heart, so the victory train is rolling once again. Toot chirpin’ toot, indeed. You can catch the Cardinal volleyballers in conference action at Worthen Arena on Friday against Quincy.
In continuing good Cardinal news, the women’s swimming and diving team got the win Friday against Milwaukee 128-114. Along the way of the double dual meet, the Cardinals posted 14 top three finishes and four event wins. Ever since we had Friend of the Pylon and coach Nick Gayes on, we’ve had a special place in our heart for the Pool Cards. The final women’s swimming and diving home match of the season was Saturday against Miami, a 186-111 win for the Red Hawks.
So, some ups, some downs, but some giant news about improving the infrastructure of Cardinal athletics and the experience of student athletes on campus. Today, much like yesterday was and tomorrow will be, is still a great day to be a Cardinal!