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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Column: It’s a trap

To all students, new and old: I’m not the best at introductions, so in the words of Eugene Fitzherbert: “I know not who you are, nor how I came to find you, but may I just say … Hi.”
Now, realistically, I’m pretty sure we can answer a couple of those questions right now. Who are you? If you’re actually reading this, you can only be either an athlete whose name deserves to be in this paper, or my parents. Hi, Mom! Also, it was not I who found you, but you who picked up the newspaper and stumbled upon this section of the paper.

Now, though it’s highly unlikely that you were interested enough to ask, I’ll tell you who I am.

I’m the sports editor for this publication. Yet I, like so many of you, was originally indifferent to UC Davis athletics, and made it out to a total of one sporting event my freshman year: the Homecoming football game. I got my Aggie Pack shirt and made it to halftime before leaving, which I’m finding is longer than most people.

One thing I’ve learned is that UC Davis sports truly have something special. And I’m not saying that because I have this job. I have this job because it’s true.

To all you naysayers: There is an inexplicable factor that encompasses UC Davis. The Aggies don’t seem to have the same awe-inspiring sheer power of big established sports powerhouses such as Cal or Stanford. Yet.

If you want to be proud of your school and your athletics, then you should look past the universally accepted statement that buzzes around campus, the one that says UC Davis sports are as good as your high school team. That is fallacious in many ways.

Don’t buy into that. Cue Admiral Ackbar’s warning. Take some time to do research and your school will probably surprise you.

We truly have something special here, a program that is unfortunately taken for granted and does not get enough recognition for its athletic and academic integrity. That itself is something that most schools cannot say.

I can speak from personal experience, from one who started out with absolutely no attachment to UC Davis athletics, that the Aggies have a unique feel to them, each team with its own personality and characters.

So do it. Go to a game. Stay the whole time. Cheer for your school. When you start going out to athletic events, you’ll get sucked in by the X-factor of UC Davis’ sports. Cue Admiral Ackbar’s warning.

I know I cannot convince you of this any more than Hagrid would be able to convince me that blast-ended skrewts are, indeed, safe creatures; it’s something you will find out on your own.

Now, this will not be one of those interesting weekly columns about pop culture, relationships or the social scene here at UC Davis. Partly because I don’t think the world needs another one, but in a much more real sense, because I don’t know a single thing about any of those.

UC Davis athletics has an almost unlimited amount of material to cover. What with 23 athletic teams and over 600 student-athletes, unless they’re all like me, there’s bound to be something interesting.

I apologize in advance for all the outlandish references to Star Wars, Disney, Pixar, Harry Potter, etc., but that’s the closest I can get to relating to society.
Now, I’m not one to predict the future, but just as the Fates knew indoor plumbing was going to be big, I think the same goes for UC Davis. The Aggies have been pushing the envelope in the recent past, and as the campus and UC Davis as an institution develops, it continues to become an attractive campus for the nation’s top students and athletes.
So now we go forth into the new year, charging forward (“They call me Mr. Pig” battle cry optional) and on for the ride as UC Davis makes its push to the top.
So much has happened this past summer, while the Aggies are in a very interesting crossroads in their developing legacy.

We had three athletes affiliated with UC Davis go to the Olympics, got a new Athletic Director that you may have seen at any of our NCAA sport competitions, had several coaching changes and had some shifts in the conference composition.

Interested in any of these things? Well, then I guess I’ll see you in next week’s column. That should buy me enough time to think of what to say.

MATTHEW YUEN just met you and this is crazy, but here’s his email (calaggiesports@gmail.com) so e-mail him … maybe.

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