Archive for October 11th, 2010

Homecoming sets Record

October 11th, 2010

Of course, this blog is supposed to help prospective students decide if they want to go to Wooster. They told me I could write good stuff, but they asked me to write critical stuff as well. This is exactly that. I am reporting about a good event, but not without criticism.

The team that was scheduled to play the Fighting Scots Football Team during our homecoming weekend dropped out of our conference. It turned out that it was not easy to find a team to replace Earlham as an opponent.

Our college president, Grant Cornwell, is a great cricket fan. When he found out that the attendance record for a college cricket match in the United States was 400, he decided that our homecoming without a football game would be the perfect opportunity to break that record.

Some of my friends are on the cricket team, so I was happy that they got this opportunity. However, the way it was implemented made it feel a little bit like a hoax.

First, there was a press release by Associated Press. The title of this release was “No Football Foe? That’s not cricket.” This article was picked up by the websites of Indian Times, Collegefootball.com, Sports Illustrated, Fox News, etc. I thought it was pretty cool to have the name of our college in all these major news outlets. However, the press release made it sound like our college was just as happy to have a cricket game as it would have been with a Football game. I am not sure that everyone was on board with that.

Part of the reason that this event turned into a marketing tool is that we have a new vice-president for enrollment and college relations. Scott Friedhoff knows what it takes to get the name of a college on the map. He invited the Cleveland Plain Dealer to report on our cricket game and he made sure the crowd pretended that they were extremely excited for the cricket match. I am sure that on video it will look like no one could wait for the game to start. In reality, however, hardly anyone knew the rules of cricket and people were just sitting in the stadium more excited to break a semi-official record than to watch the game.

Although we broke the attendance record by a lot, we probably broke a different record as well. Within thirty minutes of playing time, about half of the crowd had left. The sheets that explained the basics of cricket did not teach people enough about the game to make it worth their time. In the video below you can get a short impression of how the event was. You get extra credit if you can spot me 25 seconds into the video.

If you know enough about cricket, you can also tell that we have some pretty talented players on the team. And, they left the fake excitement out of the video. Both good things. You also don’t see that there were some very supportive fans that stayed until the end. We had over 900 people come to the game. It started at 4:30 p.m., but it did not end until after 9:00 p.m. when there were only a handful of cricket lovers left in the stands.

Overall, homecoming was great. We can give the weather a lot of the credit for that because it was just beautiful. On Wednesday, I am planning to write something that does not show how much of an old whiner I really am.

Bastiaan