Madison, Wisconsin: home of Bucky Badger, Camp Randall, the Kohl Center, thousands of talented athletes and intramural basketball teams known, both colloquially and officially, as ‘meh’ (pronunciation: the emoji with the shrugged shoulders and look of confusion).
Meh convenes on Sundays at 6:30 p.m. (hangover permitting) to sink some threes and intercept some dribbles. Eleven women, including myself, storm the court; let’s have a look at the roster:
- Madison: 5’5”. Played four years of high school basketball (slow clap).
- Alissa: 5’7”. Threw in the towel after eighth grade. Has long arms.
- Hailey: 5’5”. Stuck it out until sophomore year of high school. Smiley.
- Maddie: 5’8”. Kept the bench warm for four years in varsity ball. Admirable, truly. Someone has to do it.
- Daisia: 5’4”. Played two years some time in middle school. Not really sure what years.
- Myah: 5’7”. Dedicated the first 14 years of her life to nothing but ball before retiring mid-high school.
- Megan: 5’5”. Runner. Used basketball as a simple workout until sophomore year of high school.
- Ella: 5’3”. Gave it her best until hitting eighth grade. Not a team player. Short.
- Melissa: 5’6”. Shot her first basket this year. Has yet to hit the rim. Working hard.
- Hannah: 5’8”. Made it through middle school. Team mom.
- Alex: 5’6”. Hit high school and dropped the ball.
- Coach: N/A
Although this is an impressive roster, our record tells a different story. Sitting at 0-2, Meh’s strengths are hard to determine. A non-existent playbook and a gang of girls that meets hours before game time doesn’t result in top-notch communication. However, that is what makes this team — and intramural games — so unique.
On the night of Meh’s first game, we all respectively pulled on our pink “I heart Sellery” shirts and baggy athletic shorts. It was in the Sellery lobby that we were introduced to most of our teammates. Although this may be considered a little last minute, it worked out well enough. Between some sloppy, occasionally used screens and weird, destination-less cuts, we were able to stay in the game and have a blast. We didn’t win, but it also wasn’t a blowout. We walked out of that gym grinning, and then we had wings.
In our huddles, all we did was laugh; on the court, all we did was cheer. During halftime, all we did was hydrate. That night — and every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. — all we do is have fun. You don’t have to be an athlete; you don’t need to get a group of your closest friends; you don’t need to know what sport you’re going to play. These aren’t choices that will determine whether your team goes to state or nationals. Leave the covers of Sports Illustrated for Frank Kaminsky — this is a place where you follow your mistakes with a cheer for the opposing team’s awesome steal.
So, next time you have the opportunity to sign up for an intramural sport, don’t hesitate! Don’t convince yourself that you’re not “fast enough” or “in good enough shape.” This is the best kind of competition — one that motivates you to be active and be a part of a team. You’ll leave the field, court or track feeling like a champ, regardless of whether you won or lost. And if you have literally nothing else to do on Sunday nights, stop by to cheer on this great group of women and their opponents.
If you’re interested in starting or joining a team, check out Rec Sport.