At first I thought I wanted to confess everything. I thought I wanted the world to know I've been living a lie and that I was being someone else. But then something changed and it changed quickly. With said change, I need a rant.
First, I will share my transgressions.
For the past two weeks I have pretended to be someone I am not each Sunday and Wednesday night. I have pretended to be 18 year-old, University of Arizona freshman Seymour Crentist, playing Arizona Intramural Basketball for team Alef Bet #8. I would use Seymour's Cat Card (school identification), hand it to the intramural administrator, pretend to be distracted with something across the court, get written onto the roster as #11, and then dominate. It worked flawlessly for three games. Until it didn't.
This is not the first time I have attempted to be someone else for athletic purposes. Last year I was Shmish Tockins for a half before being ejected for grabbing the rim. Yes, ejected. When I was asked my name for documentation and presumably suspension purposes I responded, "Michael Johnson," and stormed out of the building. I was three people in that moment: Tockins, Johnson, and myself.
And is it even worth mentioning the countless times I have been "whoever's Cat Card was available" to gain access to the U of A Rec? For goodness sake, I was once Shmatherine Billiard. Do I look like a Shmatherine?
So back to my confession. I share this not with a heavy heart, fear, or shame but rather anger and frustration. Technicalities erupted and circumstances were such that my Seymour had to be re-added to the Alef Bet #8 roster. Or so we thought. When team captain Milldoe went to re-add Seymour, he was told it was not possible and that Alef Bet #8 would forfeit its three victories.
Well this was where things changed and I knew that a confession was no longer appropriate. Not only was my opportunity to play center for what was to be the greatest Alef Bet #8 team in history, but also my teammates were stripped of three hard earned victories. Ok, so what if we won our first game by 25+, our second by forfeit (which we later determined to be 40-0 because, just like in baseball, we received one-point per minute), and our third by 21. This team was firing on all cylinders and had one-way tickets to Glorytown. Unfortunately, AZ IM wouldn't punch our ticket.
And this is why I no longer consider this a confession but rather a rant, a wakeup call to collegiate recreation department personnel - especially those enrolled at the school. It's called "The Rec" for a reason: it is RECreational. Hell, the definition of rec-re-a-tion is “a pastime, diversion, exercise, or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment.” Sounds a lot like your job.
So to the card swipers: put your head down and keep studying. Especially the douche bag who wouldn't let me into the UCSD Rec, summer '05, despite my baseball team picture being on the wall 6 feet behind him.
To the gym attendant who actually enforces the towel rule: seriously?
And finally, to the intramural people: lighten up guys. OK, so we were viciously cheating the system. But what if we weren't? You just deprived a sweet freshman named Seymour a chance to play based on technicalities and ultimately your error. That's not cool and certainly not affording anyone enjoyment.
But I get it. You’re just doing your job. And you’re probably good employees; following all the rules, doing what you’re told, ultimately mitigating any and all personal responsibility. Kudos to you.
I'm sorry we owned your system.
NOTE: Some of the names in this story have been altered for the protection of the innocent.