A brisk wind and a sun struggling to wake up kept me at ease.
It was the Friday during spring break and FAMU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams were about to play in the semifinals of the MEAC tournament.
While I stood in a line waiting for tickets in Richmond, Va., I overheard three middle-aged men talking about FAMU’s chances of winning.
They felt they were slim.
Then they went on to talk about the whole athletic program here at FAMU.
“It’s overrated,” one guy said, as if they didn’t know that six feet of orange-and-green was standing behind them.
I immediately interrupted and told them everything that I’ve learned since I’ve been an editor in the sports section here at The Famuan.
I dropped names on them. I dropped stats on them. I dropped awards on them. I dropped championships on them.
After I avalanched them with FAMU’s athletic achievements, I walked away and let them climb out of what they caused for themselves by straight up “hatin'” on this great program.
Too many people on this campus do the same thing- hate on this program. And it has been my job to inform you so you could make an educated assessment about the athletic program.
I hope that I have. But if I haven’t, I would like to formally apologize.
Nevertheless, take my word for it, our Rattlers and Lady Rattlers have represented you and this school in a positive and appealing way this semester.
They’ve held it down, showed out and straight up “repped”.
They have lived up to their ratings.
I am proud to be a Rattler.
Both Coach Clark (women’s basketball) and Coach Gillespie (men’s basketball) grabbed the steering wheel of FAMU basketball and whipped a U-turn towards success this season.
I enjoyed watching both teams have their most successful season in years.
And I have to mention All-American, which says it all, senior high jumper Marisa Uzoaru; sprinter Sheldon Morant’s need for speed; women’s bowler Kristina Leonard’s competitiveness; softball player Eria Williams’ incredible quickness; and the qualities of so many of the other athletes here at FAMU that I didn’t mention which are all the reason why FAMU’s spring sports are so extraordinary.
Bump football and fall sports. I enjoyed this spring semester with the band screaming “Sit Down” at the basketball games, to listening to the music that serves as an intro to our baseball players’ “at bats,” to watching our swimmers fly through the water like it’s just plain air.
I had fun.
I probably didn’t have fun putting in the endless hours that it sometimes took to cover FAMU sports. But as I look back, all those hours were worth it.
I love this institution. I’m not a punk; I’m just telling you the real.
And the real is that our athletic program is surging-preparing itself to match up with the historically white institutions.
Ibram Rogers, 20, is a junior magazine production student from Manassas, Va. He is The Famuan’s sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.