Special Edition: As football makes history, there is always community

MAX CURTIN & JOEY SEMEL — Sports have a unique way of being there when it seems like nothing else is.

We come together around sports. It’s about putting everything else aside for a few hours and gathering as a community to cheer for a collective goal. We rally around each other and root hard.

This past weekend, it was cold. Really cold. And that didn’t stop us.

It was a road game. A forty-minute drive. And that didn’t stop us.

We showed up as a community to support one another on and off of the field. We were there when Denison football clinched their first North Coast Athletic Conference title and postseason berth since 1986.

A 61-7 regular season win over Kenyon on Saturday is not going to heal all of our wounds. Rather, the act of coming together as a family can allow us the opportunity to celebrate one another’s successes. Simply put, it’s something we don’t do enough.

In a world that seems to always be moving at the speed of light, it is refreshing and often times necessary to slow down and appreciate the people around you. Perhaps now more than ever, we need to find ways to cheer each other on every day, and you don’t have to look too far to do so.

It’s especially unique on a Division III campus. We see the people both on the field and off of it. A point guard in your math class. A goalie in your economics class.

Not only that, but with Division III athletics, it’s all about the love of the game. These athletes play for the name on the front of the jersey. Not the name on the back. They play for us. They play for Denison. They play for our community.

People at Denison do incredible things. Every single day, there are people on campus working tirelessly in pursuit of their individual goals and aspirations. This past weekend, it happened to be the men a part of our football program who saw their dreams become reality. Their sixth straight NCAC wins to end the regular season were enough to give them an opportunity at history: win the first postseason game in program history.

It won’t be easy. They’ll take on the number one team in the country, Mount Union, in a true road game.

The crazy thing? It isn’t really the result that matters. That’s not to say it isn’t significant, but what really matters is how the community will come together to support these guys as they strive to make history. Even as we go home for Thanksgiving break, we’ll watch on our phones and computers. Send each other texts about a great touchdown or interception. We’ll come together, even as we spread out geographically.

Even if they lose, if any Denison team loses, the community will still show up every game.

It’s amazing how the campus came together in a time of need over the last week. The hard part is staying together as the days, weeks, months, years and so on pass by.

If we need it, sports will be there to help.