UTD students like to make fun of our athletics, but the truth is that our legendary sports program has something epic to offer for everyone.
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. UTD is not known for its sports. We are by all definitions a campus of nerds, usually interested in either doing research or complaining about campus. The sports teams that get the most recognition are arguably chess and esports. Neither of those focuses are a bad thing, but our physically demanding sports often get less love and attention. We need to change that.
We came to UTD to study, excel in our research and use up some of that sweet scholarship money — if we were lucky enough to get it. Despite what the very ironic “undefeated” football shirt might say, there is not an immediate drive to attend live sports if a player isn’t a friend or family member. You may have little reason to attend a game, and even less so if your limited free time is on the line. Sure, they aren’t even professional. But just wait until you see gameplay.
The court is enthralled with adrenaline and competition. The men’s basketball team? Those Comets give honor to their name by being an offensive force of nature rocketing past the competition. The women’s basketball team? They stand as a legendary defense that has rocked the American Southwest Conference. For the first time, you will see that the competitive scene in sports is just as strong as the geek culture that ignores it. These athletes aren’t in Division III because they were bad. No, they are just as skilled or passionate as some professional athletes in full stadiums. Division III just means the program is given a small budget, but the skill and the determination that these players have is incomparable.
Opening 2023, we have already seen some of the most exciting games of the season from our men and women’s basketball teams. Program records are being surpassed by athletes like Kyle Poerschke and personal career records are being shattered left and right by nearly every athlete with Jordan Maxwell highlighting this on Jan. 19. In addition, the fight for first place from both teams has never been so fulfilling, with dominating strategies played by Hunter Stevens and Cierra Trigg. For these Comets and all the athletes that honor the court, history is being made. 2023 is the year of hype for UTD sports, without a single game to disappoint.
And best of all: it’s free. At home games students can whip out their comet card and get free entry to a two-hour game with their friends. You can scream and cheer all you want with some of the best live entertainment and competition in the area right in front of you. Realizing that UTD does in fact have some quality athletes, you can be immersed in the excitement and power demonstrated on the field and in the seats.
Some students may have gotten a taste of this excitement at American high school football games, standing in the bleachers to cheer on their friends — whether it was muggy or freezing — and getting some fried abomination that could stop an adult’s heart. UTD doesn’t necessarily provide that same experience. Our cheer team isn’t always there, the food won’t drive anyone into cardiac arrest and there’s no one pranking spectators with ketchup packets under their seats.
Yet what UTD does provide is the spirit of competition that pushes us to surpass our own limits. It offers the feeling that the underdogs can overcome anything, even if statistically we are better than most other teams in the American Southwest Conference. I’ve seen families gather for these games, I’ve seen creative cheers and chants from both spectators and I’ve seen hard work pay off in a way that’s truly fulfilling to watch. Best of all, I’ve seen Comet athletes with drive and fire make every shot.
You should go to the next home game, whether it be to destress or just see if the thrill is real. Our athletes deserve it for all the work they put in.