It’s been a rough week for Concordia’s sports teams. The football team played in the Shrine Bowl and lost a nail-biter to the University of Montreal Carabins, in a game they should have won. The women’s rugby team lost the Kelly-Anne Drummond Cup to powerhouse McGill last Wednesday, but defeated Sherbrooke on Sunday to pull back to .500 in their final game of the 2005 season. The men’s hockey team kicked off their season this weekend, and finished winless with a loss and a tie in two games, while the women’s team lost another game 1-0 to non-conference opponent Queen’s. The two soccer teams went a combined 1-3, and the basketball teams went a combined 1-5 in preseason tournaments. It’s worth noting, however, that most of these teams were playing the toughest competition in their respective conferences and some of them are still playing very well overall.
But let’s go back to a story I touched on a few weeks ago in By the Book: coverage of university sports. The NHL is back, but I’m pleased to announce that I haven’t noticed a dropoff in coverage- at least not in football. But I do have a complaint if anyone is listening.
First off, I understand that TSN had previous obligations to cover other things on Saturday afternoon, but when they were making their CIS football broadcast schedule, they had to be disappointed to miss the Concordia-Montreal game, which had playoff implications and a great game written all over it, and have the Montreal-St. Mary’s game next week. However, I have to be thankful for the fact TSN wasn’t there, because if we had to fit RDS and TSN in the already-full press box at Concordia stadium, I would probably have had to stand in the rain for the entire game. And hey, the Carabins-Huskies game will be a great one as well. RDS has to be happy with the way the game turned out: a close, hard-fought game. Still if it weren’t for the rain the crowd would have been twice as big and it would have looked very good for the school and the team if a crowd like that could have been seen around Quebec on RDS. The Gazette and Journal de Montreal were also at Saturday’s game.
Speaking of the Concordia football team, someone better step up on that team to get them to play well in the third quarter at some point this season. They have yet to play a solid game this year, and have just two games left to tune up for the playoffs. Barring some drastic turn of events, the Stingers are slated to finish third in Quebec and therefore umm… “travel” to the University of Montreal for a first-round playoff match up against the Carabins. One of the Stingers’ captains, Pat Donovan, said after the game that he thought Concordia was a better team than the Carabins, but they’ll have to play a full sixty minutes in order to prove it. The Stingers have a solid team, that is, they’re a top-10 team in the nation, even without playing their best all season long. They have a very talented team that could realistically be the Quebec champions this year. Laval is a great team and so is Montreal. But the Stingers play their final two games against lowly Mount Allison (0-6) who have scored in only one conference game this season, and McGill, who last weekend were officially eliminated from the playoffs by losing to Bishop’s. Concordia should, key word being should defeat both teams by lopsided scores. They need to play two full games to do that, though, and if they can get on a roll in these two games, a playoff run isn’t out of the realm of possibility. But they have to do the little things right throughout the game to play up to their potential, and play well in the third quarter.
I still want to see more people at Concordia games, however, and I was disappointed with the turnout for the Shrine Bowl. The Carabins fans making the “trip” were a smaller group (although not by much), but much, much louder, so the Concordia home field advantage was limited to the playing field.
The Stingers of all sports deserve your support. I would like one sports fan that doesn’t go to Stinger games to e-mail me and tell me why they don’t go to any games, whether it be football, hockey, soccer, rugby or basketball. I am genuinely interested in finding out why people don’t go to Stingers games given the number of students at the school and the quality of play on the field.