Playing Under the Influence

The last block of the CC school year is equal parts exciting and anxiety filled. Whether you’re a senior dreading the looming stresses of real life, or a first-year disillusioned by your hometown after a year of freedom, we all know the bittersweet feeling of the end. In the midst of Block 8 festivities, we seem to find one way to mute these nerves: alcohol. In the wake of confusion, we choose to forget rather than face the inevitable, and the result is a blurry, chaotic, and somehow amazing experience.

The increase in drinking seems to have a direct correlation with an increase in sporting events. As varsity teams’ seasons come to an end, more temporary sporting events ramp up. Between intramural playoffs, Quony Cup, Kicks for Casa, and days on Yampa filled with pick up games, Block 8 quickly becomes a sporting season of its own.

As much as the organizers of the sporting events would like to think that these two concepts are mutually exclusive, it’s no secret that, while these combinations allow for an action packed Block 8, as a NARP, I have to wonder, what does this strange time say about the relationship between sports and drinking? Do athletics and alcohol always go hand in hand? Based on the college’s strict substance use rules for athletes, which require players stay sober for 48 hours before a game, it would seem that this isn’t the case.

“The 48 hour rule makes a lot of sense. As athletes we understand why it’s important. But I think it’s a lot less effective than it could be. It can be hard to limit yourself in the college environment,”; junior track runner Patty Atkinson noted. And as for the increase in indulgence during the final block of the year, “We finally finish our season and we’re ready to make up for all the drinking we missed,” Atkinson explained. “Sports are a lot of fun but they’re even better when you’re doing something else you enjoy: drinking.”

To answer my question, I had to begin by looking at the events themselves, specifically, Kicks for Casa. This event infamously involves extreme intoxication, even on a year like this one, when the fields were covered in fresh snow. “You have to drink at Kicks for Casa. Kickball isn’t interesting enough to not drink,” participant junior Margot Lederer commented. But I believe there is more to it than simple boredom.

Alcohol and athletics, though important parts of life, have one thing in common; they are a temporary distraction for permanent problems. As much as a drink might help you forget about graduating for a night or a little friendly competition might help distract from the internship you’re dreading, neither of them solve the real problems. So as the year comes to an end we’ll keep blurring reality, but soon enough, we’ll be conquering the fears we tried so hard to forget, finally coming off the bench for the game that is real life.

Mariel Wilson

Mariel Wilson

Mariel Wilson

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