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'Goop' just part of the Sports Carnival fun
commentary by Ryan Keedy
for the thresher

Ryan Keedy

I'm a sophomore, so this year was my first Sports Carnival. I attended the replacement last year and, suffice it to say, "Meet the Athletes Study Break" left much to be desired. Not only was the turnout low, but the atmosphere was not nearly as conducive to meeting new people as this year's Sports Carnival.

For the sake of those of you who missed out, let me go over the format of the Sports Carnival. Basically, there were a bunch of stations spread across the field between the Student Center and Herring Hall. Varsity athletes manned each station and helped you participate in the event, whether it was hitting a volleyball onto a target or dropping Lindsay Germano into the dunk-tank. The athletes were pretty good about not laughing when you shot an air ball on a free throw or missed a hanging tire with a football. If you did a good job, they even gave you a red ticket that you could put in a raffle drawing.

Having athletes at each station was an excellent idea. It gave me the opportunity to meet Eric, Keith, Adam and Scott at the obstacle course. Jen and Heath were at the golf station, and Amber and Jim were overseeing football. Lance was kind enough to make me a snow cone. And who could have asked for better emcees than B.J. and Brandon (of course, I am a little biased since they drew my name to win a pair of athletic shorts)?

Granted, I'm not going to be best friends with all of these people, but it is nice to be able to look for someone you know at the next Rice athletic event. Plus, I'm always happy to have more friendly faces to say "hi" to on my way to and from class.

If I could change one thing about the Sports Carnival, though, I would have given the athletes name tags to help with the introduction process. I'm a fairly outgoing guy and I must admit that even I had a hard time working up the courage to introduce myself and strike up a conversation.

The highlight of the day, for me anyway, was the college obstacle course relay race. Most colleges fielded a team, which consisted of five athletes and five non-athletes. Stations for the race ranged from tricycle-riding to greased-pumpkin-carrying to whipped-cream-cheese-puff-sticking. The final and most grueling leg of the race was the pizza-eating contest, where a girl and a guy from each college had to eat an entire Papa John's pizza between them.

Here is the amazing part.

The guy representing Wiess College took his half of the pizza, shoved it in a blender, added some Ozarka water and ran off to an electrical outlet. He returned with what I can only describe as "goop." He then proceeded to drink the "goop." I didn't think he knew what he was getting himself into; I was ready to hurl for him. After Wiess won, he assured the crowd that he was in complete control the whole time and that he had previously replicated the feat with six hamburgers in 60 seconds.

Wow. Wiess, enjoy your pizza party. You have earned it.

My only disappointment of the day was that such a small percentage of the Rice student body came out. Granted, if it weren't for the low turnout, I, and most everyone I know who came, wouldn't have won a door prize. Then again, I'm pretty sure I would have forgone my shorts to see a few more undergrads there.

Alas, the low turnout is bothering me less and less. I am coming to terms with the fact that I go to Rice University. The truth of the matter is that the Admission Office does not consciously gear acceptance towards sports fans. In fact, I'd venture to guess that the types of kids Rice generally accepts are not very much into sports. But, for those of us who are, and I know there are quite a few, the Sports Carnival is really appreciated. Thanks to the organizers of the event, as well as the Student Athlete Committee and athlete volunteers. It was a fun afternoon and I hope the tradition continues.

Ryan Keedy is a Hanszen College sophomore.

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