PHOTOS BY BRENDAN YOUNG
Fixed eyes, expanded lunges, cold breath, and high hopes.
Colorado College students participating in intramural flag football have only one thing on their mind—winning.
Unlike other CC intramurals that attract participants because of their low-key and laid-back qualities, IM flag football is one of—if not the most—intense -intramural sport at CC. Almost everyone playing on frigid weeknights is wearing cleats, all are wearing athletic clothes, and there are a handful of football jerseys proudly worn.
You can “tell [the team’s intensity] by the amount of people wearing gloves,” a first-year player said. Within the first few minutes of talking with various players, the intensity and commitment are obvious—the other week, one player’s shoulder got dislocated and another player was checked into an upside down soccer goal.
Instantly it’s clear this IM sport is truly different than the others.
While waiting for game time, sidelined members of the teams, with names like “The Abusement Park” and “Tebow’s Disciples,” intently gaze at each play. The sidelined players take no passive role as they scream across the field “Under, under, under!” and “Hey, don’t rush it, man,” and “Easy, easy, easy force him out!” to help ensure a win.
Some teams get “too heated,” a male freshman player said, but there is not a person on the field that was not fully invested in watching their game and yelling at their teammates.
In general, intramural sports are so relaxed that people sometimes arrive intoxicated for their games, but a freshman player noted that drinking definitely happens less often in IM football than for other IM sports. The stakes are just too high.
Though listed as a co-ed activity, only a spattering of girls participate, which those on Tuesday night lamented and said could be because of the intimidating nature of play.
One team even has a student coach, senior Doron Mitchell, who tore his ACL last winter and after someone slid into him in a game earlier in this IM football season, he opted out of risking re-injuring his knee and decided to participate by coaching.
Dressed in slacks and a button down shirt, Mitchell is all business.
Although this intramural attracts male CC students with and without serious football training, many of the players played high school varsity football and this is one of the primary ways they can still play the sport.
With plays and routes being discussed on the sideline, everyone’s attention deeply fixated on the field, foul language haphazardly tossed around between teams, shoulders being dislocated, and checks that launch people dangerously high into the air, IM flag football is wholly unlike your typical CC intramural sport.
Samantha Buxbaum, Guest Writer