I've got a while before I need to leave for school, so I decided to post. I'm going to focus on a subject that most people are familiar with: School spirit.

I attended one of my school's basketball games last night; however, this was not just a basketball game. This was THE basketball game. The big kahuna. The whale of the games. Kapaun Mt. Carmel vs. Bishop Carroll. This was East side Catholics vs. West side Catholics. Crusaders vs. Eagles. Blue and White vs. Green and Gold. Some people might even go as far as "preps" vs. "hicks".

Our games against BC are huge. Everyone knows about them. It is not just well-known throughout the city, either; the whole state knows. Two years ago, the whole country knew when our football game was broadcast on ESPNU. It's the Notre Dame vs. USC of high school rivalries...in football, basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball, what have you. Back to my point....

So often throughout the halls of KMC, I hear people ragging on Bishop Carroll students--how dumb they are or how badly they dress or wondering how big their farms are. First off, way to stereotype. Second off, really now? That's just rude. I may be tarred and feathered for what I'm about to say (that is, if anyone from school sees this), but I respect their spirit. It's more than I've ever seen at KMC.

Knowing that the game would be crowded, I arrived early. 1.5 hours early, actually. As more people started coming, the more we had to move. The collective "FRESHMAN, MOVE BACK!" was rampant. I and my friend (Juniors) were also being told to move back. We, however, refused because there were sophomores in front of us. Basically, it was loud, crowded, tense, and I was getting just a little bit mean.

The game started, but until the 8th point, we didn't cheer. Someone decided to organize this. I'm not sure of the reasoning behind it, but I went with it. It was a good thing I was standing near the aisle of the bleachers though, because that 8th point brought not only an 8 to the score board, but a mosh pit. Shirts were ripped off, people had fallen, and the faces of the BC students were priceless. "What the Hell are they doing?" was written all over their faces.

And that was the end of the spirit. The cheerleaders stood there--faces apathetic, hands at their sides, ponytails high with the yell-leaders behind them. The students just stood there. Rarely a clap was heard, and even more rarely a shout of "GO CRUSADERS!" or "GO BIG BLUE!" was yelled. It was pathetic. On the other side of the gym, the sea of green and gold was roaring. So coordinated, so loud, so ecstatic--why couldn't we be like them?

Is it horrible that the president of my school's pep club doesn't even come to our games? It is sad that the only people who went to every football game were the people required to be there? Is it awful that our cheerleaders have to be led in cheering? Isn't it normal that it makes me ashamed of my fellow students?

My school has lost its pep. The athletes hear constant grief when they lose, but no praise when they win. It's disgusting. As a "narp" but an avid sports fan, I get angry for the athletes when I see this. I don't want to be associated with it anymore. I get teased for loving Notre Dame athletics "too much," but what people don't realize is that I love my school's athletics just as much...it's just harder to show when no one else is willing to show it with me. Pep is a needle in a haystack, but it's sick of being looked for--it's time for us to find it again.

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