The beautiful editors at The Ubyssey assembled for their first column of the year, answering the most pressing questions that the UBC community had heading into regional and national playoff seasons.
Here is The Ubyssey's esteemed panel of judges.
OO = Olamide Olaniyan: Sports + Rec editor. Former small child. Defender of the Universe.
JH = Jack Hauen: Coordinating editor. Former sports editor turned sellout hack.
SM = Samantha McCabe: News editor. Has dated too many athletes to know this little about sports. Knowledgable about a few other things.
KM = Koby Michaels: Science editor. Perpetually injured. Former reluctant sports editor.
SD = Samuel Du Bois: Culture editor. Future cult-leader. Purveyor of all things pretentious. Thinks that touchdowns happen in baseball.
1) What has been the best team of the semester so far?
OO: No question, it's women's hockey. Their 15-game winning streak had me shook.
JH: Actually a tough choice! Women’s hockey is beast, as always, but men’s basketball has rebounded as a top-tier competitor. Only one of those teams is still in contention though, so I'm gonna have to give it to the women.
SM: The Thunderbirds!
KM: Men’s basketball is hard to beat with a 26-4 overall record except maybe if you’re the women's hockey. Don't make me choose. But then basketball dropped the ball and my University of Manitoba friends shoved it in my face. So women's hockey.
SD: Frankly, my favourite team of the season is Team Edward. With a catalogue of impressive films premiering in the past few years, which include Maps to the Stars, Queen of the Desert and The Childhood of a Leader, considered alongside the upcoming film The Lost City of Z and a number of other projects, it is clear that Robert Pattinson won at the long game by actually having an acting career after the Twilight franchise. Meanwhile, Taylor… whatever his name is, has only starred in such abominations as Grown Ups 2 and The Ridiculous 6. As the 2017 film cycle kicks into high gear, Team Edward’s (Robert’s) victory is all but assured.
2) What team is your favourite to win their respective playoffs?
OO: I have a soft spot in my heart for women's volleyball. They whip up an unholy amount of service aces, and their players are offensive and defensive leaders in the league. Oh, and I think a playoff win would be nice sendoff for their seniors.
JH: See above.
SM: Women’s hockey for sure.
KM: See #1.
SD: If I knew what a playoff was, I would tell you.
3) Despite all winter semester teams making the playoffs, were there still teams that disappointed you?
OO: I really thought men's hockey could rally in the playoffs, pull off some huge upsets and be real league contenders this year. I am immensely proud of how they did in their last few games, but it's just not the Cinderella story I was expecting
JH: As someone who got their start at The Ubyssey by covering men’s hockey, I am used to perennial disappointment on that front. But they finally pulled off the Winter Classic win! It’s the little things.
SM: Men’s hockey
KM: I’m still disappointed that we didn’t win back-to-back Vanier Cups.
SD: The greatest weakness of the ’Birds is when they fuck up passing the old pigskin down centre-field in violation of all-purpose yardage through a faulty pass attempt that would have culminated in an automatic first down, but instead turned into a chop-block coffin corner. Frankly, their last season was undermined by a shameful amount of defensive end, dead ball cut blocks which were devoid of eligible receivers, flea flickers, flexbones or gunslingers. All of that could have been avoided if they had just attempted a few more linebacker, long-snapper, National Football League off-sides.
4) Give some words of wisdom that will help them next year.
OO: Don't let go of Butenschon. Have faith in him and the team he is trying to build. Trust the process. The team would really benefit from a little stability.
JH: Chip ’n chase. Don’t let Hewitt get signed by the Canucks.
SM: You don’t tell me how to do my job, I won’t tell you how to do yours.
KM: Win the Vanier Cup so The Ubyssey can cover it and have people read the sports section again.
SD: See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware. Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in, Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee. Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; For the apparel oft proclaims the man, And they in France of the best rank and station. Are of a most select and generous chief in that. Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine ownself be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!
5) In the darkest timeline, when you're not participating in this noble profession we all know as journalism, what sport would you play?
OO: You know, before my career-ending injury of 2012, I was breaking ankles and serving some sick handles on the court. I'd probably be a non-starting power guard in the NBA D-League
SM: Soccer is a great stress-reliever.
KM: Hotdog-eating. It’s in my blood.
SD: I am an aggressive and highly competitive practicer of the sport known as billiards.
6) Attendance has been increasing gradually over the past few months thanks to widespread effort from the UBC community. How can they increase it even more?
OO: If it's working, don't mess with it. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. They need to stick to the formula they have now because it takes time to build the level of student engagement that they want.
JH: Cheaper beer, more special events like the Winter Classic and most importantly, collaboration with students. We’ve seen what happens when groups like the Calendar are put in charge of events instead of UBC Athletics — attendance goes through the roof. Trust in the kids and they shall deliver.
SM: Throw awesome after-parties that you need a game wristband to attend — boom
SD: A great way to build interest in these athletic events is to make them resemble sports as little as possible.
7) Several athletes showed up this year, leading their respective conferences individually. Who is the real MVP?
OO: Derek Dun. His glove save in the ’Birds' final game against Mount Royal secured their playoff chances. Hats off to you. Cue Kevin Durant “You da real MVP” gif.
JH: Conor Morgan leads the league in PPG. That’s good enough for me. Close second is Cassandra Vilgrain with 27 points in 24 games.
SM: Everyone was awesome, I’m not picking favourites (a.k.a. I may or may not have no good answer for this one).
KM: Jordan Jensen-Whyte. 33 points ain't bad for a last game
SD: Noam Chomsky.
8) Which sport would you like to see played at UBC that isn’t?
OO: Drone racing. Make it happen. I will give lots of monies for this to happen.
JH: I’m gonna cheat this answer and say that eSports should be played officially at UBC. The university should do way more to support our back-to-back North American championship-winning team. They can start by giving them the Thunderbird name.
SM: Polo — who wouldn’t want horses on campus all the time?
KM: UBC eSports out-competes every other team we have already. Just make them official already.
SD: When it comes to a need for sports on campus, any knowledgeable person with an eye for the great sports could predict that this upcoming sports season is certainly upcoming. In fact, I will be so bold as to assert that we might even see some balls thrown by players and points will most likely be scored. I have no fear of those who will dare to challenge these claims. Your feeble minds cannot cage my prophetic knowledge of athleticism. But I do demand more pinball. That is really lacking from our athletics scene these days.
9) Men's basketball has a 19-1 conference record. Is there anything that can stop them?
Editor's note: This question and its subsequent answers were given before the Thunderbirds 98-96 overtime loss to the University of Manitoba Bisons in the Canada West quarter-finals.
OO: Even the basketball gods cannot stop them. I'll probably eat my words though.
SM: In the movies, this would usually be the part where their star player gets hurt. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.
KM: Ryerson. Just kidding — that’s mean.
SD: Food poisoning, not being able to pay for overpriced tuition, the fury of Judgement Day, head injuries, a lack of fulfillment in life, the realization that their time could be spent doing literally anything else, an outbreak of syphilitic insanity, nihilism, totally random bouts of laziness or precision strikes of heckling.
10) Who is the coach that you respect the most and why?
OO: Coach Carter — Samuel L. Jackson is a boss. But for real, Doug Reimer led his team to six consecutive national titles between 2008 and 2013, and made the team a perennial contender in the U Sport nationals. I have so much respect for that guy.
JH: Deb Huband. She’s been here forever, she’s a winning machine and her players have the utmost respect for her. I can think of no one better for the Basketball BC Hall of Fame.
SM: Any coach that can corral hungover university students into athleticism is alright in my book.
KM: Brian Crowley. MHS shoutout.
SD: Coaches remind me of my traumatic past as someone who was terrible at gym. They are the scourge of the Earth and when the fires of reckoning come, they shall be the first that I cast into the abyss!