By: Kyle Tooley ~Sports Editor~
This is a story about an ignored group of people. This is a story about brave souls that have been ridiculed throughout their entire college careers. This is a story about following your heart, even when no one else believes in you.
It was April of 2013, and I had just made my decision to attend Xavier. I knew that this was the perfect decision for my future for a variety of reasons. But the next step was weighing over my head. What major should I choose? How can I spend my four years enjoying myself academically? How can I best set myself up for a long and successful career in the real world?
I didn’t choose marketing. I strayed away from finance. I disregarded biology.
I chose sport management, otherwise known as the major that everyone makes fun of. Whether it be your friends, family or even popular culture, you know someone that has made a joke about sport management.
It is not all peaches and cream, let me tell you that right now. We go through hardships that other students do not have to endure. We earn our stripes while you all laugh about our decisions.
We have a class in which you manage a fantasy football team, with the idea being that you learn about salary caps and whatnot. Well, my buddy took that class, and he finished last in the league. Can you imagine the horror or going home to your dad and telling him you finished last? I mean good God, what a pain.
Oh, here’s another horror story: Last year, I had to write a paper in one of my sport management classes on salary cap management. After I spent a grueling 30 minutes pouring my knowledge into 500 words, I received only an “A,” not an “A++” like some of my classmates. It was devastating. Those 30 long minutes I spent took away from my MyPlayer on NBA 2k. All for nothing.
So yeah, it’s tough. We struggle. We endure the pain while you’re taking fun classes like Options and Futures or Strategic Communications. You think I enjoy History of American Sport? Or Sociology of Sport? We refuse to be silenced any longer.
We refuse to be looked at as the “jokes” of academia. We are a united front of dedicated students who pour four years of blood, sweat and tears into our degree.
Well, it’s actually like three and a half years. We don’t have a senior seminar.
Accounting majors: you’ll know how to do taxes. Count your blessings.
Education majors: you get to deal with screaming kids. They’re our future, dammit.
Sustainability majors: you get to do, well, whatever it is you do. So, ummm, have fun with that.
We, on the other hand, don’t get to have the fun that you do. My friends in my major are taking jobs in the NBA and NFL or with college programs. They’re doing player relations to broadcasting and everything in between. Do you think I’m looking forward to coordinating interviews between Andy Dalton and ESPN reporters? Do you think my buddy Jack liked working at the Baseball Hall of Fame, where he was constantly surrounded with sports fans and the history of the game?
We do this for our future families so that they can live mediocre lives on our base salaries. We sacrifice our passions for their livelihood.
So go ahead, make fun of us. Tell us we’ll amount to nothing. Look me in the eye and say that sports aren’t important.
Because you know what? We’re strong. We’re empowered. And we refuse to be ridiculed any further.