College sports are the shit. Call me biased if you want — writing about sports does pay my monthly booze bill, after all — but I’ve passed Go on the sporting world’s Monopoly board more than a few times, and the fun I’ve had at every UCSB athletic event has been worthy of a spot on the Boardwalk. Sure, I’ve had fun with tear gas in a soccer riot during the Costa Rican championship match, and certainly enjoyed all-you-can-drink night at a Japanese baseball game. But how about passing handles of Taaka around while the #2 UCSB rugby team sank #1 BYU, or getting flipped off from opposing players at basketball games because you can talk trash from courtside? No professional game I’ve ever seen can stack Jenga to this kind of debauchery, and it’s all in the name of Gaucho pride. Hell, what do you say to a couple thousand drunk-asses running wildly through through the streets of Isla Vista while celebrating a national championship? Yahtzee, bitches.

Before I get too Parcheesi with the bad metaphors and hazy memories, let me dispel any half-assed myth about Gaucho athletics. Mainly, the uneducated often equate our lack of a football with a lack of a rowdy fanbase. Wrong. If any of you tried to play that line in a game of Scrabble, shit would be r-e-j-e-c-t-e-d. The lack of football is wondrous for our school’s fans, and not just because the team would suck. Hard. Truth is, getting rid of football has opened up every other sport for heavily inebriated fan support.

Harder Stadium’s attendances for soccer games are the highest in the country, which creates a home field advantage like none other when opposing teams are lucky to pull in one-tenth the people during games at their crap schools. The Thunderdome is more than aptly named, and visiting basketball teams cowering under the verbal onslaught from our ridiculously good-looking student body always have trouble matching their shooting percentages to our BACs.

But that’s only two sports. Soccer and basketball will hopefully be only the beginning to your Gaucho experience. As a West Coast beach school, UCSB regularly dominates in West Coast sports. Stumble over to Rob Gym to see our perennially ranked men’s and women’s volleyball teams shred apart anyone who wanders onto the court. Both our water polo teams are always at the top of the nation, and if you’ve never seen a high-level match, they are intense. Plus, I hear they use to put kegs under the bleachers. The possibilities are endless. Our club lacrosse team wins national championships like crazy, and they have nothing but love for the SB wild yelling from the sidelines. Shit, ever gone crazy at a track meet? Now you can, and I suggest it.

As a new, wild-eyed freshman, diving head first into Gaucho sports is one of the best ways to both immerse yourself in UCSB culture. Plus, games couldn’t be easier to attend. Rather than getting herded into the shitty seats of the “student’s section” like at other schools, students are put at the forefront of every event. Plus, you don’t have to wait in lines for tickets or, for that matter, even be sober enough to stand in a line, so feel free to go all Hungry Hungry Hippos on that cheap swill you smuggled into the dorms. All you need for admission to every showdown is a simple wave of your ACCESS card. Of course, if you’re a real pro, you’ll bring some Faderade and a babe along with you.