Mustard Stains: Saints duke it out with Embry-Riddle in basketball

By Lawrence Griffin |
Photo by Ben Matthews

The entire arena smelt of sweat, cheap deodorant and spilt mustard. The crowd was whipped into a frenzy as the ball smashed through the net — a slam dunk! Fans cheered all around the stadium, both insults and whooping joy. The basketball game between Flagler College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University on Dec. 2 was heated and exciting for all parties involved.

The atmosphere was warlike. Before the game began, the lights dimmed and voices in the crowd hushed to a whisper. The players were introduced by a deep-throated voice and then the madness began. Wild, ritualistic chants rang through the air.

Both teams started off really strong. Flagler in particular seemed to have had their collective blood boiled to a fine, magma-like froth. They played with intensity, muscle and grit.

Several three-point throws were made. The teams went after each other like hungry jackals. Flagler had the edge in the beginning, although the score was close. Soon, the tide seemed to tip in Embry-Riddle’s favor.

Embry-Riddle was arrogant. They wore shirts that said “Beat Flagler,” on them, and that struck me as strange. It was such a pointless display of bravado. They came on far too strong, and in a way it made them appear desperate. How much money did they spend making these one-time-use T-shirts, anyway? I would like to know.

During intervals between playing, silly games went on. Little children raced up and down the court. An Embry-Riddle student surfed over several of his peers. A burrito eating contest was held, and subsequently ended very quickly.

As the half-time dawned, the score lay at about 48 to 36, in the favor of the opponent. There was still a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The scores were close, and there were still twenty whole minutes for Flagler to recuperate. This hope was quickly diminished as Embry-Riddle’s score continued to rise. My heart sank as the divide between the scores continued to grow.

Sports are such a wild commodity. They provide an interval from real life. They let out aggression not only in the people playing, but also the people watching. It is an emotional investment.

That is why I was so crushed when Flagler College lost to Embry-Riddle with a final score of 105 to 81. Nobody seemed surprised by the end. Flagler even seemed disillusioned at the end. Their hearts did not seem as into it as before. We will get them next time. This was only a minor mustard stain on our reputation.

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