Casey Goodwin" />
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Sunday, October 1, 2023


UH football is great but not for me

Cougar football is a much bigger deal than it should be to UH students. While it is nice to have something about our school to make us proud, Case Keenum should not be the only thing about UH worth discussing.

The University is still behind most of its competition academically, our fine arts programs are largely uninspiring, and the administration rarely seems to do anything productive. But it’s all getting better. Every little excuse brings us a step closer to actually having a real Tier One school, not just a University that brags about its largely futile efforts.

Our football team has done extremely well in the past year, and is cut out to have an even better season this year. So Cougar fans might have a lot to cheer about. Maybe it is because I am neither a guy nor a Texan, but it seems like a single sports team should be one of the last things UH students mention when they say what the best thing about their university is. In fact, to me, the entire thing is downright ridiculous.  

Yes, we have a few amazing players, but I am more proud of UH’s beautiful campus, the wonderful new cafeteria at Moody Towers, and the diversity of the university’s students. Those things actually have an impact on my day-to-day college life. The only time Cougar football affects me is when the cheering from the stadium is so loud I can hear it from my room. 

It is important for students to remember that just because UH football is doing well does not mean that people can call themselves Cougar fans without supporting our other teams as well. The University also has women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and cross-country teams currently in season, and they enjoy a tiny fraction of the support base that the football team will see Sept. 4. 

It is better to ignore Cougar sports completely then to be a fair-weather fan and only pretend to care about the one team that makes national headlines. Many of our other teams are also doing well, and are just as worthy of our support. The other Cougar athletes work hard for the University, and deserve just as much cheering and chest painting as the students who play for Cougar football.

However, it is important to remember that just because we have above-average athletics does not mean UH is an above-average school. 

While our football team certainly does not hurt UH in the eyes of prospective students, it doesn’t go nearly as far as having strong academics and high graduation rates—areas where the University still needs a lot of work.

I have never been to a UH football game. I have no real desire to change that, either. The entire concept of mostly-grown men running across a field throwing a ball while crazed spectators scream and shout for no apparent reason is more irritating than appealing. 

It’s not that I’m one of those people who like to stay locked in my room all day, above the chaos of campus events. I happily go to school plays and participate in student organizations, but the entire purpose of sports is beyond my comprehension.

Yes, I take pride in our football team. I like calling home and hearing my father brag about how well they are doing. I also like taunting my friends at Rice when the Cougars beat the Owls in whatever sports event just occurred. Nevertheless, the money and energy the UH administration puts into its football program would be much better spent if it was shared more equally with other campus organizations. 

College is about the whole package — having strong academics, a gorgeous campus, involved student organizations, delicious food, a good newspaper, diverse and intelligent students, reasonable graduation rates and winning sports teams. 

UH has a lot of those and huge potential to get more, but that will never happen if students spend so much of their time obsessing over football that they never even consider UH’s other impressive features.

Casey Goodwin is a mechanical engineering sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]

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