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Throwing down the gauntlet

| Friday, December 2, 2016

2016 has personally been a rough year for sports for me. I’ve tried for the past several months to prove to The Observer Sports department that I am, in fact, sporty — almost to no avail. I entered a Fantasy Football league with them at the beginning of the year, only to draft Blake Bortles in the third round despite having drafted Russell Wilson in the first. I wrote a Sports Authority about how boxing out is the key to winning, which, as it turns out, is not a hot take. The final blow, though, came the other day at the hands of Sports Editor Marek Mazurek.

As most of The Observer staff knows by this point in time, I’ll be missing the Sports department’s Turkey Bowl this Friday afternoon. Despite the fact that I write and work for the News department, I was able to secure a much-coveted invitation to play in the Sports department’s annual two-hand-touch football game, which felt like a major accomplishment until Marek decided to schedule the game for Friday afternoon, when he knew full well I would be going home for a family commitment. To say that I’m bitter might be the understatement of the century. I was looking forward to pretending like I was sporty for an hour, but Marek had to go and shatter my dreams.

However, unlike the Cleveland Browns, I do hope to actually secure one victory this year, and so today, on behalf of News Editor Katie Galioto and the rest of the News staff, I am issuing a formal challenge to the Sports department: News vs. Sports basketball game, next Friday, 1 p.m.

While we know we beat up on your department in most categories — for one, Katie can actually spell — we understand sports may not be one of our strong suits. We fell to your team in a pretty embarrassing fashion last year due to a number of extenuating circumstances, but we refuse to let that happen this year.

As I write this, Marek is admitting that, had I been a bit more serious about the game last year, I actually could have been good. That’s a challenge I take very seriously.

Our team has heart, lest Marek forget that news writer Courtney Becker literally sat on him last year in order to win a jump ball they had both dove for. While heart may have only earned us four points last year, I’m confident that we’ll come back swinging this year.

As Kurt Russell sort of, but not really, says in the movie “Miracle,” from great moments are born great opportunity, and that’s what we have here this year with the News-Sports basketball game. That’s what we’ve earned here this year. One game. If we played the Sports department 10 times, they would very likely win nine. But not this game. Not this year. This year, we dribble with them, I think. This year, we stay with them. And we score more than four points, because we can. This year, we are the greatest Observer department in the world. We were born to be adequately sporty. Every one of us. And we were meant to be part of this department. This is our time. Their time is done. It’s over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great basketball team the sports department has. This is our time. Now go out there and take it.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Rachel O'Grady

Rachel O'Grady is a senior Political Science major living in Ryan Hall. She most recently served as Assistant Managing Editor. Hailing from Chicago (actual Chicago, not the suburbs) she's been a Cubs fan since birth.

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