Implementing the art of the rag-tag sports teams

Connor Fitzgerald, Supreme Overlord of Awesomeness

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This picture is a group of people in a field. These people are known as the 2014 track and field team. University of Dallas photo.

As we approach the beginning of the end of the school year, some of the University of Dallas coaches have already begun looking toward next year.

“Not that we aren’t focused on finishing this season strong,” a coach who asked to remain anonymous said. “But it’s not too early to think about being prepared for the loss of some of our senior players, either.”

Around campus, both on and off the field, the desire for a trophy is growing. Thanks to clubs like Blue Crew, more and more students are cheering on their UD athletes.

“It feels great,” said an athlete whose name I forgot to write down because I was too busy eating a jar of Smuckers Swirl jelly. “There is so much support and good vibes being sent our way before, during and after the games. It feels like everybody is really rooting for us to bring home a championship and we’re trying our best to make that happen.”

A new strategy under consideration for implementation by the UD coaching staff is the tried and true method known as “rag-tagging.”

This strategy gained prominence in the late 1990s and, while it has since fallen out of prominence, there are still some teams, on both the college and professional levels, that rely on this strategy’s ability to bring home the gold.

One of the experts on this art of roster-building is Professor William Swaim of Dartmouth University. He wrote a book on the subject entitled: “From Misfit to Big Hit: The Science Behind ‘Air Bud,’ Earning Your Father’s Love, and Why Being the Underdog Gives you the Best Chance at Winning.” His advice has been put into use by the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox team, the kids from almost all ’90s sports movies and at least one college basketball team every March.

“Rag-tagging, at its core, is making use of a story and public sympathy to overcome any lack of skill,” Swaim wrote in an email. “Another popular method is simply taking advantage of any underestimations to surprise opponents, but this rarely succeeds over a longer period of time.”

So, what are the necessary parts to building a winning team of rag-tag players?

“The most successful teams throughout history have had a rookie who has essentially never played the game before, a nerd, comedic relief and, of course, somebody with a rough home life. Some of the positions that have fallen out of use over the years for various reasons are: a really good player who gets injured before the championship and must lead from the bench, a player who is underestimated or shunned because of a stereotype, like being a girl, and an animal, preferably golden retriever (or in rare cases, a primate), who is really good at sports,” Swaim wrote.

Obviously, the last three are roles that the coaches and players of UD do not expect to fill for safety and rule-related reasons. However, there have been rumors that they have already contacted the UD Dungeons and Dragons Club in hopes of filling both the nerd and the unexperienced player position with only one spot on the roster.

“We really want to be able to bring a championship home to UD,” the coach said. “And we are doing our best to build a team that can get us there, regardless of how unlikely it may seem at the season opener.”

Disclaimer: This is the April Fools’ edition of the paper. All stories are ficticious in nature.

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