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Volleyball ‘Sets’ Eyes on a Better Half of Season


The Goucher women’s volleyball team had big goals for their 2017 season when coming back this school year. Unfortunately, those goals were quickly crushed in the first half of September when the Gophers found themselves losing seven straight matches.
The 2016 season was a rough one for the team. They had a 7-19 overall season. They only beat one team in the Landmark Conference, in which both Juniata and Susquehanna made it to the NCAA Division 3 Volleyball Championships.
However, the returning girls worked hard over the winter, spring, and summer. In the winter, they joined the women’s tennis team and field hockey team in speed and agility training every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You could see the girls in and out of the weight room or the gym working on their skills.
The team now consists of what would be considered a ‘junior varsity’ squad: three sophomores and six freshman.
The Gophers started out the 2017 season with an exciting tournament opportunity in Virginia Beach playing Cabrini, St. Catherine, and Virginia Wesleyan. The team lost all three matches, but did make a run for it against St. Catherine and Virginia Wesleyan, losing only 3-1. The team went on to lose the next four matches.
But all was not lost. The team made a comeback, winning against Gwynedd Mercy, 3-0. That win was followed by another 3-0 win against Bryn Mawr 3 days later. And another win followed against Immaculata, 3-2.
During their first conference match against Susquehanna, the team fell to the River Hawks 3-0. The Gophers fell to Scranton as well, 3-0.
The volleyball team was predicted to finish in seventh place, but is currently tied for fifth place, alongside Catholic and Elizabethtown. They are working to getting back on track and beat their seventh place prediction.
The Gophers aren’t only working to make a dent in the Landmark Conference, they are working to create a sense of community.
The Gophers just recently held a successful volleyball clinic for middle school girls who play at a local recreation league in the area. The team has also volunteered their time at the Ronald McDonald House for the past few years.
The Gophers are currently 3-12. Their next scheduled home match is Wednesday, October 18th at 7:00 PM against Lancaster Bible.


Goucher Gopher Golfers: Say that 5 Times Fast

Goucher’s new golf team swings into the season. Credit: Goucher College’s Athletics

Fall 2017 marks the inaugural season of the Gophers’ first ever Men and Women’s golf teams. This is the first time Goucher has had a varsity golf team, marking the beginning of a new era in Goucher athletics. News of an upcoming golf team generated many questions amongst the community, most notably with concerns that the Goucher Woods would be torn down to build a new golf course.
Students can now rest assured that a golf course is not a part of the ten-year plan, but excellence from the new team certainly is. The women’s team recently finished third in their first event, the Bay Creek invitational, lead by first-year Emmie Starchvick from Jacksonville Ore. Emily Pochet, Lauren O’Leary, and Whitney Duran, all first years, also performed well. Dropping seven, eight, and three strokes from the first to second days. The Women’s Team’s next event was September 23rd at Susquehanna. Meanwhile, the Men’s team finished fourth overall at the Bay Creek invitational, with first-years Evan Yue and Roberto Mikse leading, both shooting a 79 on Tuesday.
Overall Goucher placed four students in the Top-25. Not too shabby for a start. The Men’s team will play again on September 24th in Rocky Mount, N.C. The majority of both teams are first-years, with only one junior, Kianna Haskin, playing on the women’s side.
Both teams are led by Coach Hunter Brown, a well-qualified head coach of the Men’s and Women’s teams. He played collegiate golf at the University of Texas at Arlington from 2000-2013, winning three-time all-conference honors, two-time All-America Scholar honors, a Southland conference team championship, and the opportunity to compete in multiple NCAA regional championships. As a graduate, he has competed in various levels of professional golf, with his most notable achievement, a Monday qualifier for the 2014 PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open. He now dedicates most of his time to coaching. He is a Baltimore resident, an active member of the Freedom Church and a part-time graduate student at the St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Roland Park. We asked Coach Hunter some questions about the Golf teams and he was more than happy to oblige.

Q: Where does the Golf team practice?
A: Most of the time we practice at Hillendale Country Club – this is our home course and is a great facility that gives us everything we need to improve!

Q: Do you have to have a car to be on the Golf team?
A: You don’t, but it is very helpful! Hillendale is about a 15 minute drive from campus. Some of our players carpool, but it is easier logistically with a car.

Q: What schools do the golf teams (men and women) compete against and how are we ranked?
A: We play against almost any other DIII school from North Carolina to New York. Rankings are done through a third party source (Golfstat) and rankings have yet to be posted for this season but will be available soon.

Q: Do the men and women practice together?
A: Not usually. Most of our practices are separate, but occasionally we overlap with things we are doing together.

The golf team aims to improve the character and work ethic of the players, as well as their golfing abilities. Credit: Goucher College’s Athletics

Q: What are the teams’ hopes for the season?
A: We are really focusing on developing the right culture and qualities in our team this year. If we can improve as golfers and simultaneously develop in character and work ethic then I think we’ll be pleased with our season.

Q: How long is your season?
A: In the fall we play until late October. In the spring we play from March until May.

Q: What is the best thing about the new golf teams (mens/womens or both)?
A: I think we have structured the program in a really incredible way. Everything is designed around caring for our players and giving them everything they need to develop. We’ve got a really great group on both teams and I think we are going to turn this into one of the best programs in all of college golf!

Goucher Athletics: The Only Constant is Change


“I’ve been [at Goucher] for 23 years and I think for 19 years that I’ve been here, the campus has been under construction,” Director of Athletics Geoffrey Miller said, remarking on his time at Goucher. One of Goucher’s most substantial reconstructions has not been residence halls or academic buildings, but of the Athletic Department.
Recent dramatic changes, like a new logo and the introduction of Rowdy, have become talking points on campus and online. Travis Holland ’02, wrote on the Goucher Athletics Facebook page, “I’ll never love Rowdy as much as I did for Mortimer…,” while current students shared similar discontent on Facebook. Miller understands the criticism and meets change with optimism. In October, he referred to the change as “turning the page on a new chapter” and “I knew it was going to be different… It’s been 20 years… I knew it was time to get a fresh look.” In April 2017, he remarked, “I like change. I don’t want to stay the same.”
In fact, Miller says that he joined Goucher from Washington College, back in 1994, because “that [Washington College] was an institution that was okay with the status quo. It wasn’t receptive to change… This institution [Goucher] wanted to be better. This institution is like a rising star.”
“It’s easy for people to get caught up in the visible, tangible changes – [that can be a new] logo, a new athletic deal, stuff like that – because it’s in front of everybody… It’s easy to react to those things, but [people often] don’t understand a lot of times the little things that go on behind the scenes of those things that are really and truly impacting things. Big changes are easy to see and people always have a reaction to them, but it’s the little things that are the most impactful,” says Assistant Athletic Director and Head men’s soccer coach, Bryan Laut.
One of the small changes within the Athletic Deparment Laut recognizes are the increased impact coaches have on students and student-athletes alike. “I think the best thing we ever did [in my 23-year career at Goucher,] is create the Graduate Assistant (GA) position for teams,” Miller reflects. The GA’s act as assistant coaches for the team and provide an opportunity for the head coach to focus on bigger picture things, like recruiting, game strategy, and player management.
One of the important tasks of being a Division III athletic coach, specifically at Goucher, is acting as a role model. One of the ways Laut demonstrates his compassionate commitment to his players is through frequent meetings with every member of the team to assess how their particular semester is going on and off the field. “You have to create a positive environment, as a coach, in that team and in that game setting so people are feeling… a part of that collected enterprise… [feeling] good… on the same page… respected…  and challenged,” say Miller.

Additionally, the Athletic Department

“The foundation blocks, the principles of [who Goucher is] are not changing. The physical spaces may change. The mascot might change… but we still expect our students to be the best possible people, students, and teammates they can be,” says Director of Athletics Geoffrey Miller. Photo credit: Google Images
has been attempting to reach out to non-athletes on campus. This has involved partnerships by offering food at games, giving away free t-shirts, and even a television at a Men’s Basketball game in December. Student outreach has been challenging for the Department: “It takes time to shift culture and that’s what we’re trying to do… You have to give it some time. It’s a difficult thing to do. It’s challenging,” bemoans Miller.

He concedes that a part of his trouble is understanding how a younger generation functions. To help Miller and his administration, Goucher hired Brandon Harrison to be the Director of Athletic Communications in December. With the help of Nathaniel Cain, class of 2016, and his collaboration with current Goucher students, Harrison created the Goucher Sports Network. Harrison expects the Network to upload a series of highlights from games, promotion of upcoming games, and eventually he wants to do a weekly sports show. “We just want to show that the Athletics program is something that we’re proud of,” summarizes Harrison.
Miller is a perfectionist when it comes to the appearance and behavior of Goucher sports. He knows how easy people make judgements based on first-impressions and often student-athletes need their coaches to enforce good behavior. “I think the coaches have a tremendous responsibility… we [the entire Athletic Department] are held accountable for [the student-athletes’] reputation.”
For better or for worse, student-athletes have a precarious reputation on campus. Because the school provides a connection to the school and an established group of friends from teammates, certain student-athletes experience a separation from the larger Goucher community. “I think we [student-athletes] are our own worst enemy… we glom together as athletes… and are all wearing our gear and… might even be loud, might even be boisterous… that’s intimidating to some people… We act in ways that marginalizes people,” reflects Miller.
He is optimistic for the future reputation of student-athletes. “It requires some effort on the part of students and the Department to break down some of those [issues of student-athlete alienation] … we can hit that sweet spot of what [a better relationship between students and student-athletes] looks like.” In order to have a closer Goucher community – a true gopher whole – student-athletes and the Department must continue to reach out to other members on campus.
“The foundation blocks, the principles of [who Goucher is] are not changing. The physical spaces may change. The mascot might change… but we still expect our students to be the best possible people, students, and teammates they can be,” Miller adds.

Field Hockey Team Aims to Play in Conference Tournament, All While They #LiveFearlessly



Students show their support for Erin Fields. Photo Credit: Goucher College

The Goucher women’s field hockey team 2016 season ended with heartbreak and determination. But so far loss has only fueled their fire to come out stronger and more competitive than before.
Last year, after losing to Elizabethtown in the Landmark Conference semi-finals in the last few seconds, Head Coach Megan Williams set the standard high in the new season, in order to reach the semi-finals again this year, followed by the championship.
The Gophers kicked off their 2017 season against St. Mary’s of Maryland on Friday, September 1st. The game went into double overtime, followed by shootouts. Junior Maya Belin scored within the first 12 minutes to put the Gophers ahead 1-0. The Gophers held this lead into the second half until the Seahawks scored. At the end of regulation, the teams were still tied 1-1. During both overtimes, the Gophers fought hard to score a goal. But it was sophomore Megan Wells who kept the cage free of any game-winning goals for the Seahawks with a career-high 21 saves. With the teams still tied at the end of two overtimes and with the pressure mounting, the game went into 1 vs 1. Both goalies played a respectable game, blocking shots left and right, but in the end it was St. Mary’s who ended with the win.
Although the first game ended in a loss, there was something greater than field hockey that the team decided to fight for: Erin Field, a teammate during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Erin Field was involved in a life-changing accide

More students support Field Hockey Team. Photo Credit: Goucher College

nt in early July, rendering her unable to return to school. The Gophers dedicated Sunday’s game against Johns Hopkins University to Erin and her battle to recover. As a talented athlete and a dedicated student, her absence has been felt dearly by the student body and the entire athletic community at Goucher.
With the sun shining bright this past Sunday afternoon, the women’s field hockey team played a fierce game against the Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays, donning teal bracelets with the hashtag  #LiveFearlessly. The bracelets and special video messages were available for friends, family, and fans to provide support for Erin. The crowd was dedicated to cheering on the team and Erin in her recovery. Some even painted “Erin #3” on their chests. The Blue Jays outshot the Gophers 34-9 at the end of the 4-0 loss on Sunday. But the Gophers don’t look down on the outcome.
When asked about the game, Coach Williams responded, “Hopkins exposed our weaknesses today and luckily we have the time to make adjustments.” In looking forward to the rest of the season, Coach was excited to say that, “the program is in a place where we can schedule tough out of conference opponents,” because playing harder opponents in the beginning of the season can only lead to a better outcome when the team heads into conference play on September 23rd, against Juniata College.
The team didn’t feel defeated either. Junior Jackie Juarez said, “It was a really special game for us as a team. We wanted to show our teammate and friend how much we love and support her in this difficult time. Even though we didn’t come away with a win, each one of us gave our all for Erin and we got the Goucher community together to show their love for her too and to me that was more important than any win.
“Erin is a tough girl who is attacking rehab just like she’s attacked other challenges–head on. We hope these messages bring a smile on her face,” Coach Williams said.
The Gophers were predicted to finish fourth out of eight teams in the Landmark. The team is determined to finish better than that in their effort to #LiveFearlessly. The field hockey team’s next home game is Sunday, September 30th, at 1:00 for PM vs. Susquehanna.


Goucher Wiffle Ball

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Michael Layer, Sports Editor

March 5th, 2017

Usually 60 plus degree weather in February should be cause for concern, but several have been enjoying their time in the sun. Warm afternoons at Goucher College mean classes outside, picnic blankets, and more recently, wiffle ball games on the Great Lawn. Typically found on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, a group of about fourteen students create their own diamond out of the intersection of perpendicular walkways behind Welsh Hall.

“We want to keep it formally informal,” says senior David Sibony, one of the founding players of this new trend. Every couple of days, Sibony and junior Gianni Rodriguez take five rubber baseball plates, two balls, and a yellow wiffle ball bat that they own to set up their diamond in the corner of the Great Lawn. Two relatively even teams are created simply based on who shows up.

Goucher wiffle ball has gone under some recent changes. According to Sibony, he and a group of other students started playing wiffle ball on the residential quad in the spring of last year. Since the residential quad can become crowded, Sibony and the wiffle ball players moved to the lawn behind Pearlstone. Because of construction, players were forced to relocate to the Great Lawn, where they’ve been able to enjoy the games in front of crowds of about fifteen or twenty students. Students enjoy sitting on the hill between the T and the Athenaeum and often spectate relatively competitive wiffle ball games: “We like having the crowd; we hopefully try to play when there is a crowd… it’s fun to have people watch us play and [because of the crowd] people will play more, which we like,” laughs Sibony.

The group is organized through a Facebook group titled ‘Goucher Wiffle Ball,’ and administrated by Sibony. Though the page has plans to be public, it is currently set to private to ensure that nobody is turned away. Turnout is usually around fourteen students, so there is about seven on a team. This seems to be the most appropriate numbers as games can be competitive: “The game last week was very competitive… I don’t think anyone has decided not to play because the game has gotten too competitive; I don’t think it needs to be more competitive.”

Since many of the players are friends, the game flows naturally. Pitches are thrown not to get strikes, but for base hits, and there is also not an official umpire. In controversial plays, disputes are often settled through the good nature of both teams, “if there’s a really close call, we’ll switch off who gets the call, so if one team gets it this time, the other team will get it the next time.”

Sibony has plans for expansion and promotion of the game. He has plans for games on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons at 3:30pm, a bigger game on GIG in early April, and a tournament during senior week, leading up to graduation. “I want more people to join,” says Sibony.

A Letter From President Bowen


A few weeks ago our Sports editor, Michael Layer, reached out to several people on Goucher’s campus regarding the controversial photo of some Goucher lacrosse players. (You can read Layer’s article on the incident here).

Goucher’s president was among the few that got back to Layer. With President José Bowen’s permission, we wanted to publish the letter he wrote to The Quindecim‘s editors.

Dear Editors,

Thank you for your thoughtful letter regarding the College’s response to the men’s lacrosse incident last fall. I share your serious concern about the incident, especially in light of the current national climate. Here is what I can share.

As you know, Bryan Coker and I issued a joint statement immediately following the picture being posted, expressing our serious concern, and condemning the behavior. The men’s lacrosse team took prompt internal action with the responsible team members as well as the overall team membership. The matter was also referred to the Bias Education Response Team (BERT), which reviewed the matter and recommended educational measures. Since that time, our Title IX Coordinator has conducted educational sessions with the team as has the Assistant Dean of Students. The coach has been a model of responsiveness and the players have taken this very seriously.

While suspension from the team or public shaming might seem to offer a quick and strong response, such a sanction seriously diminishes opportunities for student learning and growth. We are an educational institution.  We invite students on to our campus to learn from their mistakes. Our approach to this incident has been – and will continue to be – learning-oriented. We probably should have provided some follow-up communication regarding these efforts before now, but I also think that what the public needs to know has to be weighed against the potential for real educational gains.

I have also attached my remarks from our Opening Convocation in January as they may also be informative of my position.  We are in a highly polarized moment in American history. When there is not much listening, there is not much learning and little chance for new communal understanding to emerge across thickly drawn lines of opinion. In my remarks in January, I asked student to expand their empathy this semester. I still think that is key. We need to have higher standards for dialogue and disagreement, but we also need to make sure we are having real dialogue–and that means some tolerance for failure. Exile is typically reserved for offences for which there is no chance of reconciliation. If we as a College cannot find some tolerance for failure in each other, then we will not be preparing you to be potential listeners, builders, creators, and healers in the wider world where you will soon find yourselves. There are very few places in the U.S. right now where such a diverse collection of people are living together and trying truly to get along. We are a long way from perfect. I am proud of our ambitious goals and high ideals, and I also know that brings more pain, misunderstanding and hurt along the way. We have chosen to confront the reality of our society. This is not the safe path and if we are to make progress we must both have higher standards for dialogue AND all be brave and willing to support each other in the effort.

BERT will soon be releasing an overview of cases they have considered over the past year, which will show all that is being done to address bias-related behaviors in our community. We are thankful to now have BERT, and hope to expand the opportunities for effective and educationally-based options for responses to bias incidents.

I am committed to learning, growth, and development as the ultimate outcome for this incident.


José Antonio Bowen

Goucher’s Response to Men’s Lax Photo


Michael Layer, Sports Editor

February 25th, 2017

In the first issue of this semester, the professors in the Center for Geographies of Justice and Cultures published an open letter addressed to President Jose Bowen. The letter urged Goucher College to take further action to address a racially insensitive photograph taken by members of the Goucher men’s lacrosse team on November 8, 2016.

The team was celebrating the end of their fall pre-season with a scrimmage organized by the captains on the team. The scrimmage took place on one of the practice fields behind the Eline von Borries pool nearly a week after Halloween. The team dressed up in costumes, which included various fuzzy animals, an assortment of characters from video games, and a policeman. The team seemed to enjoy their costumes, most of which seemed to be hooded onesie pajamas on top of their lacrosse gear, and posted their collection of pictures on Facebook and Instagram.

One student dressed up in a Donald Trump shirt, khaki shorts, American Flag suspenders, and a Make America Great Again hat. He posed for a picture with two other white students in style ponchos and sombreros, suggesting to be Mexicans, and posted the photo on Instagram. The post was saved as a screenshot and shared on Facebook by a student who identified the photo as an example of cultural appropriation. Other students and alumni on Facebook shared the post and the photo quickly became public knowledge within the Goucher community.

In the following hours, Goucher College sent out an email and Facebook post titled, “An Important Message to our Community,” which was signed by President Jose Bowen and Dean Bryan Coker. At the time, certain members of the Goucher community were assuaged by the Goucher administration’s response. The open letter from the Center for Geographies of Justice and Cultures represents a community patience that has been tested one too many times.

In the article, the faculty published four recommendations for constructive action in response to the photo, which included individual suspension, a public update from Goucher’s Administration, and that “the entire Goucher men’s lacrosse team participate in cultural literacy training.” Before the article was published, President Jose Bowen and Andrew Wu addressed these concerns with The Quindecim in a personal email and a follow up interview.

On February 14, 2017, President Bowen revealed that the team took “prompt internal action with the responsible team members, as well as the overall team membership.” Head Coach Bryan Kelly reached out to Luz Burgos-Lopez, the assistant Dean of Students for Race, Equity, and Identity. According to Burgos-Lopez, “Coach Kelly was interested in having conversations with his team to address what happened, and was seeking guidance on the best approach to these discussions.”

Both Coach Kelly and Burgos-Lopez made the decision that the team should hold a workshop series conducted by Lucia Perfetti Clark, Goucher’s Title XI Coordinator, and Luz Burgos-Lopez. These classes began in small groups of three or four students and then expanded to lecture style courses intended for the entire team.  Burgos-Lopez claims that “the workshops are not a punishment, nor an institutional response to what happened. They are the result of a partnership with Coach Kelly to try to build some greater capacity within the team.” According to President Bowen, “The coach has been a model of responsiveness and the players have taken this very seriously.”

President Bowen, as well as Luz Burgos-Lopez feel that these courses, not expulsion or suspension, are the best way to address the issue. Bowen remarked, “While suspension from the team or public shaming might seem to offer a quick and strong response, such a sanction seriously diminishes opportunities for student learning and growth.” For Bowen, making mistakes is an integral part of learning, and Goucher students would not feel safe enough to make mistakes if others are being suspended or expelled. Because he believes that these Goucher students are capable of learning from their mistakes, he feels that the educational workshops are the right course of action by saying, “Exile is typically reserved for offenses for which there is no chance of reconciliation.”

Luz Burgos-Lopez knows that systems of accountability haven’t been in place at Goucher for very long and, in her opinion, “people have the right to be upset and angry.” However, she is critical of a Goucher community that seeks to criticize the men’s lacrosse team or the Goucher administration. Burgos-Lopez claims that students were responsible for spreading misconceptions and that “people were having conversations that were toxic and out of fear.”

President Bowen commented on this issue, saying, “We probably should have provided some follow-up communication regarding these efforts before now, but I also think that what the public needs to know has to be weighed against the potential for real educational gains.” Burgos-Lopez agreed and is critical of The Quindecim even publishing this article: “Historically, students haven’t been able to handle sensitive information… who are the people you’re trying to hold accountable?”

Though there is significant student backlash on the men’s lacrosse team and the Goucher administration, Burgos-Lopez believes that the Goucher “doesn’t have the capacity to talk about race across the board, to really engage the community.” She claims that when certain students talk about issues of race on campus, they fail to consider other marginalized groups, and that certain issues become coded messages for avoiding social equity. “It’s elitist to claim that one has the capacity to know how to address this situation,” she says.

Racism both globally and within our campus won’t be resolved quickly. Burgos-Lopez stands behind the educational measures prescribed to the team: “No one changes overnight; the classes are supposed to bring about an awareness, but this is not a punishment.” Neither BERT, Goucher’s Bias Education and Response Team, nor CREI has any power of adjudication and cannot sanction any punishment on individuals or a team. BERT plans on emailing an official report of the incident outlining the school’s response before Spring Break.

President Bowen spoke in January for Goucher’s Opening Convocation and said, “we need to have higher standards for dialogue and disagreement, but we also need to make sure we are having a real dialogue – and that means some tolerance for failure… There are very few places in the U.S. right now where such a diverse collection of people are living together and truly trying to get along. We [at Goucher] are a long way from perfect… if we are to make progress, we must both have higher standards for dialogue and all be brave and willing to support each other in the effort.”

Political Neutrality or Commercial Resistance? The Clear, Mixed Messages of the Super Bowl

Photo Courtesy of Style Girlfriend, on Google Images.

Michael Layer, Sports Editor

February 15th, 2017

In a nation of hyper-partisan division, one of the largest forms of escape was in Sunday’s Super Bowl. Many people enjoy sports because of their escapist nature and, according to Nielsen, the Super Bowl is the most watched event in America. Though politics and sports have clashed in the past, according to New York Times article “No Trump or Goodell at Super Bowl, at Least According to N.F.L. Transcripts,” they were not intended to clash this year.

Since the controversial presidential election, private businesses have seen their stock rise or fall from a Trump endorsement. Because of the manner of Donald Trump’s election, his opponents have complied lists of companies to boycott, while his supporters laud the companies’ alleged decisions to commit to American jobs. After the election, centrists and conservatives condemn the political protests from democrats and proclaim a message of national unity behind President Trump and varying degrees of political tolerance.

The Super Bowl is seen as a hallmark of American Culture. The sporting event brings in millions of viewers annually, attracting Americans both for the football and the commercials. Businesses pay millions of dollars for their 30 second opportunity to be seen by Americans nationwide. The commercials face their own sort of competition and are often compared for their creativity, irreverence, and comedy. Outside of sports, comedy shows have recently criticized Donald Trump through satire, committing to a left leaning, niche audience and at the same time attracted national attention, an increase in ratings, and a tweet from the president.

At a time where it can become profitable to overtly oppose the current president, how did America’s marketing geniuses do? It seems with a strong message of ambiguous tolerance with overtones of national pride that appeals to both sides of a partisan divide.

To certain Trump supporters who feel that they are ‘the silent majority,’ who feel they have been ignored by President Obama, tolerance means to settle Democratic protests, quiet celebrity dissent, and settle a perceived news media bias. Tolerance, it seems, has nearly the opposite implications for Trump’s critics. This message of equality implies the importance of national and international diversity, shaming travel bans, proposed walls, and understood religious discrimination.

National pride was another emphasized, yet unclear message from the Super Bowl. The same nationalistic rituals of patriotic hymns, references to constitutional rights, and images of flags resonated with a proud, patriotic right. On the left, these same themes referenced integral, American rights of freedom of religion, a unified nation of immigrants, or equal representation under the law.

Out of the many messages from the Super Bowl, one best combined these two ambiguous, pandering appeals to identity politics: the Lady Gaga half time performance. She began the performance with “This Land is Your Land,” which utilized an impressive red and blue light show that became an American flag, and emphasized that America was “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Being one of the leading voices for the gay, lesbian, and queer community, she sang her hits like such as “Born this Way” in front of Vice President Mike Pence, who has been openly critical of gay, lesbian, and queer rights. In the bottom right of the performance broadcast was the red, white, and blue Pepsi logo. After the remarkable performance from the pop artist, who employed a diverse team of dancers, the red and blue lights reappeared, and formed the Pepsi logo in the sky.

The right was emboldened behind their new president and renewed national pride while the left was inspired by messages of promised liberties and equality that Donald Trump cannot revoke. The right was promised that Lady Gaga would not make her performance a political message, while the left could infer the meaning behind her songs. It seems that the heavily publicized event was deliberately ambiguous, both satisfying and disappointing expectations from both sides.

It seems that several companies played into a similar marketing strategy. Coca-Cola and Budweiser seemingly played into this with their uniquely courageous yet marketable commercials. There was one in particular which seemed to almost comment on this pandering appeal to identity politics. Kia produced a commercial with Mellissa McCarthy, nearly 24 hours after her satirically scathing SNL impersonation of White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer.

In the ad, she goes around the world protesting aspects of the continued degradation of the natural environment. She quickly realizes the dangers of jumping in the ocean to save the whales, climbing trees to prevent deforestation, or standing on melting polar ice caps, and lets out an outrageously dramatic yelp, as Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero” plays. The right can enjoy the downfall of a liberal stereotype, while the left sees the importance of driving a car that is environmentally conscious.

It appears that Kia’s advertisement capitalized on McCarthy’s unfruitful protest. It seems that while most voting Americans picked sides, every participant of the Super Bowl marketed themselves to both sides of the political spectrum by refusing to compromise.

Goucher Sporting Voices: Are the Patriots Fun to Hate?

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
The Patriots defeated the Falcons 34-28 after overtime. Timothy A. Clary, Getty Images

Michael Layer, Sports Editor

February 15th, 2017

People watching at Goucher is always amusing on game day. One of my favorite things about Goucher is seeing the various jerseys students wear to class, mentally catalogue who supports which team, and see them proudly strut their colors down the Van Meter highway. During the Super Bowl last Sunday, students flaunted their colors in support of their team, watched the game on computers in the Athenaeum, and pretended they were doing work at the same time.

Reflecting on the students’ jersey selections, I can’t tell you how many Patriots hats, hoodies, and jerseys I’ve seen over the course of my Goucher scholastic career. From a neutral’s perspective, it’s disappointing the Falcons didn’t have the same following here as the Patriots. Though several students were outspoken about their support for the Atlanta based team, it was not because the Falcons are their favorite, but simply because they hate the Patriots so much.

One of those students who supported the Falcons to spite the Patriots is junior Business Management major, Scott Mt. Pleasant. A self-proclaimed Green Bay Packer’s fan, the New York native rooted against the Patriots on Sunday. Saying before the game, “They always seem to be in the Super Bowl, first of all, which is annoying, of course… and they get caught with all these scandals… it’s annoying when they seem to get away with it and still win… I just hate that franchise.”

Much of Mt. Pleasant’s hatred went towards head coach Bill Belichick, who after Sunday became the one of the most successful coaches in NFL history, winning the Super Bowl five times. “I just think he’s pompous. His responses to reporters are very cocky… sometimes he doesn’t seem to give reporters enough respect.” Mt. Pleasant continued to criticize the Patriots claiming, that their support is not genuine, “Obviously there’s a lot of people who like teams that are successful, so bandwagon fans will hop on.”

Especially after Sunday, the Patriots’ success is undeniable. Devout Patriots fan and Senior Communications major, David Sibony believes that the Patriots deserve the support because of their success, “I think it’s easy to be a Patriots fan because they’re good. If you don’t look at all these issues of cheating or not cheating… you can see there really has been success.” Sibony was proven right after his team won in overtime on Sunday. The team is considered to be one of the best ever with nine Super Bowl appearances and five championship titles.

Sibony claims that Patriots fans deserve respect for loving their team, not because it is easy to like them, but because it’s been difficult. He believes that it would be easy to love a team if there was never any downs. For him, the test of a true fan is supporting their team despite their faults. However, in regards to their previous scandals like the two in 2015, one in 2007, and the one in 1982, Sibony said, “I don’t want to get into that.” It seems however that because there have been so many highs for the Patriots, the lows become impossible to ignore. Mt. Pleasant had no problem noticing their failures: “I wouldn’t want to say that their rings should be taken away, but at some point, they can’t keep doing this and have no consequences.”

Bandwagon fans or not, cheating or not, Super Bowl wins or not, the passion for Patriots football at Goucher is undeniable. Though Sibony feels that there are more Ravens fans than Patriots fans at Goucher, he said with a smile, “[Patriots fans at Goucher] stand out because we are so spirited. You’re going to see more [Patriots] jerseys than Ravens jerseys on a Sunday night in the Ath. because they’re so spirited.” Mt. Pleasant even agrees, “They’ve very much outspoken about how much they support the Patriots… I guess when you win that much you get to flaunt it.”

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