As Ryerson students, we need to go to more games
As I enter my final year of undergrad, I can comfortably say that I think Ryerson has shattered most, if not all, of my expectations of what university was going to be like.
Where I was expecting this marvelous campus that would be like a mini-city of its own, I was given this strange little campus in the middle of the city that, like the city itself, is always under construction.
I was expecting to be part of stadiums full of crazed fans repping the blue and gold and chanting pridefully for hours, but in my time here, I’ve attended only one men’s basketball game by choice, and left shortly before the fourth quarter.
In my time at Ryerson, I feel as though there’s a resentment toward this school from the students and it’s disheartening. We’re a school that had over 32,000 undergraduates just last year. One statistic I can’t find though, is how many of those students chose Ryerson as their first choice?
I get it. I understand the feeling of disliking the post-secondary institution you attend; before Ryerson, I attended York University for a year.
I don’t have much to say about York, but I did switch to Ryerson after just one year. I hope that says enough.
Yes, I know, for a million different reasons, not everyone is able to switch programs and that’s fine. But if you’re stuck in a situation that you can’t really get out of, isn’t that a good reason to make the most of what you have?
I don’t mean to sound like your mother, but hear me out. Before you started university, how many times were you told to join a club when you got here? Well, whoever told you that was right when they told you to get involved. But don’t limit your options to a club.
Consider sports. No, I don’t mean join a sports team (though definitely consider that), I mean come out to Ryerson Rams games.
Without Googling it, how many Rams athletes can you name? If your answer is zero, don’t be ashamed, because honestly I can name only three.
It’s OK to not know, but you have to start somewhere. The bonus with Rams games is that they’re not like a club in the sense that they’re super niche or that you need expensive equipment to feel involved. In fact, Rams games are usually free for students and essentially any gear you’d want to buy would be entirely optional.
On the plus side, if you bought a nice Ryerson Athletics T-shirt, you could still wear it pretty much anywhere. But if you bought a curling stone for example, for the curling club, there’s not too many places you can take that.
Think about it; to be a fan, you don’t really need to know much about any sport. All you really have to figure out is when to cheer and when to boo. And who better to teach you than the crowd around you? Everything else you’ll probably pick up through osmosis if you go to enough games and ask questions.
It’s a great social environment to go with a group of friends, because being in large numbers and being rowdy is acceptable for the most part. Take a date (and some breath mints), you might up end up on Kiss Cam. If you’re lonely, go by yourself and go make friends, or possibly even meet the love of your life.
Above all else, think about the athletes. Ryerson University does not get enough credit for how well it does athletically. These games will not be boring. Typically, Ryerson is a contender for U-Sport top spots when it comes to basketball or volleyball. Though there was no gold in either of those two sports this past season, all four of those teams finished top three or higher for their respective divisions.
Not only are the teams generally really good at Ryerson, but the individuals themselves are extremely talented. Ryerson recently sent its former men’s basketball head coach, Roy Rana, and former women’s lead assistant coach, Jessica Roque, to the coaching staff for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Of course, that’s not to mention Tanor Ngom, a 7 foot, 2 inch basketball phenom with NBA potential, who plays right here at Ryerson, among several other incredible young talents.
I can’t really speak for the athletes and tell you what motivates them, but I can say with a good level of confidence that they probably wouldn’t mind an audience ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ in appreciation of their athletic ability — an ability that they’ve dedicated their lives to. You never know, the game you decide to watch could be the game where a new record is set or where the next athletic talent finally emerges to the spotlight.
March Madness is the NCAA’s multimillion-dollar tournament that is often the stage for the next big basketball stars. The issue is that athletes only really have a chance to go pro if they play college sports in the U.S. However, that’s not to say that Canadians can’t change that.
If more people supported Canadian university sports, then maybe the stature of the intercollegiate game here would grow, and the best players in Canada wouldn’t necessarily have to go to U.S. schools just to be noticed.
All you have to do is come out and watch. Maybe someday a Ryerson grad will take the Raptors to another championship?
A big part of our experience in university, and life in general, has to do with our mindset. If you believe that this is the place to be and everyone here is amazing, then so be it. But if you choose to have a negative outlook on the school and your fellow students, then watch the whole experience be negative.
You may not like something about your current situation, and that’s fine, you don’t have to. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing at all to like. Maybe you can draw some inspiration from the Rams athletes. These are kids from all over the province, country, and in some cases different parts of the world, who chose Ryerson not only to be their home for the next several years, but as a stepping stone into their professional lives. Every day they practise their craft to be great, every time they put on that Rams jersey. If they can put their bodies on the line every day, why not come out and support them? Feel like a part of the community. Change the game. Celebrate. And have some pride.
Think about it. I’ll see you at the game. Go Rye-High.