With two weeks left of my life as a college student, I can’t help feeling a little nostalgic.
Besides my fears of the idea that I’m supposed to be moving on to something called the “real world” to do “bigger and better” things and become a “self-sufficient adult,” I can’t help feeling a bit sad about the life and place I will be leaving.
This life is one in which the weekend begins on Tuesday and ends on Sunday; this place is none other than the square mile of land we have come to know as Isla Vista.
I’m sure we would all agree that I.V. is, well, a rather unique place. You can’t really explain it to someone who hasn’t been there. You have to visit it, perhaps even stay awhile, to really know what it’s all about.
Likewise, the sports culture of I.V. is equally, well, unique as the town itself. I mean, everyone’s played basketball down at the RecCen, had a game of volleyball at Dog Shit Park and kicked the ball around Storke Field.
Don’t get me wrong, these sports are all some of my favorite pastimes, but there is a different element of sport that makes I.V. so, well, unique.
Nothing depicts the I.V. sports culture better than the infamous Dog Shit Park bike races. I had seen them on IVTV and heard the stories of this event, but it wasn’t until this year that I joined in.
The way it works is as follows: There are three people to a team. There are 45 laps to bike and 45 beers to consume per team. If you need to puke, you can only do so while riding. If you puke and you are not on your Huffy, your team is disqualified.
The day did not disappoint. Though I was not a contestant in this rigorous competition, I am proud to say that my blue beach cruiser, Miranda, propelled the Hawaiian trio to a second-place finish.
Miranda, however, has never been the same since that day. A small price to pay for greatness, I guess.
So if these bike races are an accurate depiction of I.V., sloshball may very well be the defining sport of the town. I think and hope that everyone has had at least some exposure to this game that I predict will one day become the American pastime.
The rules are simple. It’s just like a game of softball except second base is a keg and you have to pound a beer every time you reach it. The rest of the game is just details, but it is always a ton of drunken fun – especially in the later innings.
As long as I’m writing this piece, I have to give a shout out to the stoner sport of choice: Frisbee golf.
I tried playing it once. “It’s all in the wrist,” they said. Well, apparently I do not have a very functional Frisbee golf wrist. Or maybe the world was just moving a little too slow for me that day. Either way, I am no longer an aspiring Frisbee golfer. But I now have an appreciation for all of those glassy-eyed wanderers who play the sport.
I’m not trying to say that all the sports particular to I.V. are motivated by non-sober activities.
I think one of my favorite things about I.V. is the fact that I can ride Miranda anywhere I need to go. I mean, when else in my life will I be able to live in a place where I can do that? I guess this type of recreational bicycle riding is not necessarily considered a sport, but it kind of is when you consider the automotive alternative.
Then there is the sport that some consider a typical lifestyle in any ocean side community: surfing. I’m proud to say that it is actually a sport I picked up in my four-year career here. Well, maybe not necessarily picked up in the sense of being a bitchin’ surfer, but me and my 7’6″ longboard I named Fred do try to hit the waves whenever we can.
Now combine this surf lifestyle with the fact that most people get where they are going on their bike and that’s I.V., baby.
But like all good things, my life in I.V. is quickly approaching its end. But thank you to I.V. and all the friends I’ve met in this crazy town for the best four years of my life.