When was the last time you went to Harder Stadium and screamed your lungs out for a UCSB sports team? If you were born in the ’80s (and are not a soccer fan), odds are probably never. Truth be told, Gaucho-holics have come to understand life outside the Thunderdome as very sobering.
We’ve got this huge stadium sitting in the middle of our campus doing nothing more than gathering rust and being leased out to AYSO soccer moms. Let’s face it, UCSB, the only time we ever see more than a custodial staff and a flock of seagulls in Harder Stadium is at the end of May when the Extravaganza music festival takes the stage. And even that hasn’t been good since Ben Harper came in ’97 – forget a football team, we can’t even get Britney Spears to come play in there!
Well, UCSB sports fans, get ready. This Saturday will be you and your drinking buddies’ big chance to tailgate on Storke Field and PACK HARDER STADIUM. No, our football team has not spontaneously been respawned and re-admitted into the Big West. No, our soccer team did not acquire soccer great Renaldo from Inter-Milan.
This Saturday, under the lights at Harder Stadium, the UCSB men’s ultimate Frisbee team, the Black Tide, will square off against Stanford University.
“What is ultimate?” you say. And further, “Why should I care a dog’s wet fart about a Frisbee-throwing Gaucho?” First of all, there are no dogs involved. Secondly, we are not Gauchos, we’re the Black Tide, the most dominant and successful ultimate franchise in the country, and the most dominant and successful sports franchise at UCSB. This is not golf and it sure as hell ain’t fetch.
This is ultimate. Seven on seven, offense and defense going head-to-head on a field 70 yards long and 40 yards wide. We practice five days a week and condition seven days a week. A third of our team can slam-dunk a basketball, half of our players run the mile in the five-minute range, all of our players are willing to sacrifice their body just to catch a plastic disc and none of our players are afraid to get dirty.
Make no mistake about it, ultimate is an athlete’s game and a spectator’s sport. Here’s what we guarantee if you come to watch the Black Tide this weekend: true athletes busting their asses, making some of the most acrobatic, insane plays you have ever seen in one of the most intense athletic events of your life.
Let’s put it in basketball terms – since 1984,when college ultimate began, the Black Tide has made it to the national tournament 13 times. Of these 13 times, the Black Tide has advanced into the Final Four 13 times, and captured the national championship six times. What other UCSB sports program boasts six national championships?
Stand proud, UCSB. You may never see a football team or Britney Spears play in Harder Stadium, but this Saturday night at 7, you can see your very own Black Tide kick ass. Admission is free.
Justin Hanan plays for the Black Tide
Just for the record, Dan Schneider wrote this, not me. -Justin Hanan