For some intramural participants, it’s about more than the game
Next to Brian Taylor’s bed hangs a sticky-note with one word scribbled on it: “T-shirt.”
Taylor, a sophomore business major, wrote the note to remind himself of the prize he can win if his intramural ultimate Frisbee team wins its league championship this month.
“For the next two weeks, I’m going to eat and sleep that T-shirt,” said Taylor, a member of the Overtones, one of eight teams vying for a championship title within the same division.
T-shirts bearing the words “Colorado Intramural Champions” over an image of a buffalo are awarded to players on the championship teams from each intramural sport, said Annie Mulvany, CU’s intramural coordinator.
“A single trophy is difficult to share, but every player on the winning team can have a T-shirt,” Mulvany said.
Intramural championship teams are determined through a single-elimination playoff system made up of brackets for each division within a particular sport, Mulvany said. Championship teams can play from two to four games, depending on their record and placement within the bracket.
Mulvany said every team that doesn’t forfeit a regular-season game and has a good sportsmanship rating makes the playoffs, which began Oct. 2 for flag football and will continue through the next two weeks for all current intramural sports.
“The T-shirts are one of the most coveted pieces of clothing on this campus,” said Richard Spomer, a fifth-year senior majoring in theatre. Spomer is an Overtone, and he has been an intramural sports ultimate frisbee referee for four semesters.
“There’s a lot of pride in being one of the top teams in the university,” Spomer said. “The university’s so big that it means a lot to be one of the best teams here.”
Spomer said he won a championship T-shirt in spring 2005 with the Overtones, and he has a chance to win a second one, as the Overtones are in the playoffs.
Taylor said he is in his first semester with the Overtones, and he is anticipating winning a championship T-shirt.
“It’s burning in my bones to have a T-shirt,” Taylor said. “What could be better than a T-shirt?”
Taylor said he played intramural soccer last year, but his team lost in the playoffs.
“When the whole intramural season has gone by, and you don’t have that shirt, it’s disappointing,” said Taylor, who is also playing inner tube water polo this semester and plans to play intramural basketball and flag football next semester.
“I see it like Super Bowl rings,” Taylor said. “The more T-shirts I can get, the better.”
As the Overtones make their seventh playoff appearance in as many semesters, Honorary Team Captain Jessica Pugh said she is excited about the possibility of winning the championship, but her desire to have fun and be with her friends surpasses that of winning a T-shirt.
“For me it’s not really about the winning,” said Pugh, a senior vocal performance major. “It’s more of an opportunity to play together. I really look forward to it. You meet new people every single time you play.”
Pugh said her male teammates are more excited about winning the T-shirts than her female teammates.
“I’ve heard the guys talk, and they’re excited about the T-shirts,” Pugh said. “But I think as a girl it’s like, ‘Oh, a T-shirt. It’ll become my paint shirt.’ It’s just something fun.”
Taylor said he is confident in his team’s ability to win the championship this semester, and he can’t wait to eventually win a T-shirt.
“I want a T-shirt because of the prestige and the feeling of accomplishment that it represents,” Taylor said. “To the common bystander, the T-shirt doesn’t look like much, but to those fiery few it means more than words can describe.”