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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 17, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

ColumnsThe 'Stache Line

The ‘Stache Line: Is winning Cortaca vital for the Class of 2014?

Now that the Bombers football team has clinched the Empire 8 Conference title, it’s time for the only game on the schedule that the general student body actually cares about: the Cortaca Jug.

Unless you cover sports for The Ithacan, ICTV, WICB or VIC, you may be surprised to know that our football team has had a pretty stellar season. The Bombers are 8–1 this fall, but unfortunately that accomplishment won’t matter to many students unless the team beats our hated SUNY school rivals.

My peers and I in the Class of 2014 have seen the Blue and Gold go 0-for-3 against SUNY-Cortland in both nail-biters and blowouts. Everyone is aware of the hype that comes with the Cortaca game, and it would be sad to have never seen our Bombers bring home the Jug if the team does lose Saturday. But is this recent drought a real threat to our school’s morale, or are we all too drunk by the end of the game to care?

I spoke with senior class president Erin Smith to get her take on what a Cortaca triumph would mean to the Class of 2014. She admitted that she had high hopes for the game when she was a freshman and said she doesn’t want that optimism for the game to wane with future students at the college.

“I don’t want it to start becoming an expectation that we will lose Cortaca,” she said. “I think [a victory] needs to happen, and it would absolutely be a positive thing if it did.”

While I agree that a prolonged losing streak would tarnish one of the biggest days of our school year, it’s also important to remember that we don’t go to a Division I football school. For example, I’ve never been to Ohio State University or the University of Alabama, but I imagine the students there have much more noticeable celebrations when their football teams win conference titles than the muted reaction I saw across our campus this past weekend.

Smith agreed and added that our support is spread in a healthy way to all of our college’s sports teams.

“The good news is that our morale isn’t solely based on the football team,” she said. “We could absolutely have more school spirit, but I think the way our spirit is scattered throughout campus involvement is beneficial to our student body.”

So maybe it’s not the end of the world if the seniors never get to see Ithaca win the Cortaca Jug. A victory would be nice for our senior scrapbooks, but it’s important to remember that our college experience goes way beyond the gridiron.