School spirit cures sports team envy

Matt Murphy

At some point or another, there is a disease that affects all college students during their time at school.

It has been unofficially diagnosed by me as “school envy,” or in some extreme cases, “school jealousy.”

It’s that time when you look at where your friends attend school, see an ad on TV or watch a college football game, and think, “boy, that looks nice.”

It’s inevitable and unavoidable. No matter where you are or what you’re doing in life, there will always be someone else who has it better in your eyes.

Don’t fret — with a little effort, both of these diseases can be easily cured.

I saw a lot of undiagnosed examples of these infections in Chico State students during the recent college football season. Most were people wishing that Chico State still had a football team, no doubt seeing the raucous crowds and the excitement generated by the teams shown on Saturdays on ESPN.

It’s quite a natural reaction. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of those weekly events? The entire school turning out each week, the rivalries, the shared heartbreak and jubilation from wins and losses.

Illustration by Rachel Dugo
Illustration by Rachel Dugo

Luckily for the sick, there is a simple cure: focus the energy you spend wishing Chico State had a football team on the teams that Chico State has.

Because Chico doesn’t have a football team, sports that would ordinarily be overshadowed gain more visibility.

Did you know that Chico State is currently ranked fifth in the current Division II Director’s Cup Standings, which determine the best athletic program in the country?

The men’s soccer team finished first in the North Division of the CCAA. The men’s cross country team has won 12 straight conference titles, and the women have won 10. The men’s track and field team has won 10 straight conference titles and the women’s have claimed four in a row.

Both men’s and women’s basketball teams reached the NCAA tournament last year. The men’s golf team finished last year ranked 24th in the nation. The baseball team has made it to the conference tournament 14 of the last 15 years.

Chico State is not lacking in athletic success. It is, however, lacking the support it deserves. There’s no reason that Chico State can’t experience that electric atmosphere large football teams enjoy at any of the Wildcats’ games, matches, or meets.

A game is a game no matter where it is played, and you might be surprised how smaller venues like Acker Gym and Nettleton Stadium enhance your experience as a fan.

Consider yourself cured and go support your `Cats.

Matt Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or @matthewcharlesz on Twitter.