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March 20, 1990 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-20

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Page 10-The Michigan Daily --Tuesday, March 20, 1990
Futbol game day in Spain

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Lions' courage
should be admired

by Jamie Burgess
Daily Sports Writer
MADRID, SPAIN - Re-
member your first trip to Tiger
Stadium or your first Wolverine
football Saturday? So much stays
with you after that first time in

ponent was still the object here.
But a game here is not only to be
watched; it is to be participated in
as well.
When you first enter Estadio
Santiago Bernabeu, nothing out of
the ordinary catches your eye -

of those mouths....It's not enough
to root against the opposition
here, you also have to put down
the team's province. They aren't
without positive energy, though,
borrowing a custom from the bull
ring in shouting "Ol" when a
player is especially tricky with the
ball.
Not satisfied to sit peacefully
and obey the law, some fans seek
to liven-up the game with small
explosives they throw on the field.
One marksman stopped the action
for five minutes when his offering
deafened a referee.
With the first half coming to a
close, everyone around me began
the "bocadillo" ritual. Rather than
shelling out good money for hot-
dogs and beer, the Spanish fan
brings a sack lunch to eat at the
half.
So went the intermission and
most of the second half, without
incident, until a Barcelona player
bumped into one of Madrid's.
When this happens in Yost, you
drop your gloves. When this hap-
pens in Bernab6u, you headbutt
the guy in the face. You are then
issued a dreaded "red card", and to
the showers you go.
It was a sporting event I'll
never forget. Oh-the score? Real
Madrid 3, Barcelona 2. But I was
too busy watching the game to
notice.

by Jonathan Samnick
Daily Sports Writer
It is cliche, at this point, to talk
about how unfair, illogical, etc. the
Hank Gathers tragedy is. But briefly,
for the first and last time, I will ad-
dress it, or rather let Sports Illus-
trated's Curry Kirkpatrick do the
honors:
"Beyond grief now, I wish to god
Hank Gathers had not died; that he
could be remembered instead for the
way he lived-an elegant warrior of
a player, a warm, caring, vibrant kid.
About Gathers, a paraphrase of an
Elton John song comes to mind: His
candle burned out long before his le-
gend ever will."
Watching The Game on Sunday,
I was torn between rooting for my
school and the team that deserved to
win-that deserved something. My
feelings of disappointment, after
watching a Michigan team falter
were quickly buoyed by the fact that
they lost to that team.
Yes, it was still just a game, but
who can deny that Loyola Mary-
mount was playing for much more.
Sports teams are often made up
of individuals who project their per-
sonalities upon their team, the game
and the sport. But this was undeni-
ably Gathers' team. He was the star
and the personality, and yet this
team was recognized mainly for its
formless offense not for its players.
They played late at night on the east

coast, so only the next morning
would we hear of some unimagin-
able score. We rubbed the sleep out
of our eyes and asked, how?
On Sunday we saw for ourselves.
We read thL placards, we saw the
"44" patches, we watched, as Bo
Kimbleaswished a left-handed foul
shot, and it angered us. We wanted
our team to win. Faces without
names replaced each other hitting
long range bombs, from impossible
angles, again and again.
"Is that the guy who keeps hit-
ting the threes?" someone asked.
"No, that's another guy," some-
one else answered.
"Who are these guys?" asked a
person from the couch.
Loyola Marymount-the
Lions-played as a team. One player
ably replaced another as they kept
moving and gaining strength until
game's end.
This group of young men-it is
easy to forget that they are our age-
lost a teammate and a friend they
called "Bank". "We called him that
because we went to him for every-
thing," LMU coach Paul Westhead
said. This situation is treated differ-
ently because they are in the national
spotlight. But what if one of our
college-aged friends suddenly died.
Could we handle it? Could we handle
it while the whole country watched?
Remember when they made you
read Death Be Not Proud when you

were younger, because they wanted
you to be able to handle the death of
a classmate? We regarded it as fiction
because who can look around and
imagine being without a best friend,
a teammate, a hero?
The Loyola team has thus been
bound together forever. Regardless of
how they do in this tournament or
what happens after their teammates
move on, they will always be a part
of this. It won't be easy to go on-
but they will. They will win the
tournament with the strength and
maturity the media has suddenly
made them assume. We may hate
them for it-for successfully taking
this the way the University of Col-
orado football team did earlier this
year.
But for a moment, let's stop
looking at this the way it affects us
and our beloved team. This is the
feeling that has infected sports. We
stand and applaud good and true ef-
forts as long as they are distant from
us. The moment it may interfere
with winning, we take shots at it
and make it into something it was
never intended to be.
As a friend of mine said to a
quiet group shortly after the game,
"Let's give them a hand."
i.E
C1NEADIRECTO

IA bird's-eye view of Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

the stands... the crack of the bat,
or the whiz of the marshmallows.
I moved through Madrid's
subway with scarf-clad young men
(their answer to the 'rowdy rag')
singing the local fight songs. My'
first taste of European football fea-
tured arguably the nation's fiercest
rivalry, between Real Madrid and
Barcelona, and I had paid the
equivalent of eleven dollars for
standing room.
Of course, the basic idea of
scoring more points than the op-

except maybe the barbed wire
strung along the section dividers.
But then the players hit the field.
The on-field security donned crash
helmets, while an entire row the
width of the field had lit flares to
welcome Madrid onto the field.
For the next five minutes, the
teams warmed up in a thick cloud
of smoke.
The noise level that 100,000
Spanish voices can muster in a
domeless arena like ours borders
on painful. And what comes out

Jamie Burgess is
Sports Writer currently
abroad in Spain

a Daily
studying

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