THROW THESE UNDERDOGS A BONE

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By John Mather

Sports Editor

Between naps, I noticed something about this year’s Superbowl.

(Yes, I already know that it was boring. And yes, Mick Jagger actually died years ago and it’s only the acid flashbacks that keep his limbs flailing.)

Superbowl XL, I realized, brought another version of a classic/clich? sporting tale: a struggling team (the Steelers) squeak their way in the playoffs and are expected to be knocked out, but instead win the championship.

It is a feel-good story that may seem tired to you, but for at least two Ryerson teams the underdog charm is a key weapon in a battle to make the playoffs and, dare I say, win a championship. Whoa, let’s take it easy and forget about men’s volleyball for a moment. Both the women’s basketball and volleyball teams could conceivably make the playoffs. And it is not impossible for them to win a championship — just highly unlikely.

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself; after all, making the playoffs at Ryerson is an achievement in itself. But I say it is time to get excited about some of Ryerson’s other teams. Part of being an underdog is having a strong and supportive home base. Ask any competitive athlete and she will tell you that playoffs are a whole different ball game (give me a break, I was being literal). If each team wins this weekend, Ryerson’s name will be scratched into the respective final spots on the OUA standings.

The 5-14 women’s basketball team will likely take on Carleton or Laurentian, both 10-9, in the quarter-finals. A win here would lead to an even tougher game against York or Toronto. First, though, they must beat Carleton, Toronto and Ottawa to hold onto their standing.

The women’s volleyball team needs to beat Lakehead twice this weekend in order to move into a tie with the Thunderwolves for fourth place in the East division. This won’t be easy for a team who has struggled to finish off close games this season. Despite an exemplary work ethic, the squad is losing points at the worst possible times.

But two key victories, and the women’s volleyball team will be on their way.

Call me a dreamer, but if Pittsburgh can beat Indianapolis and Denver at home, than our women have a shot at bringing a banner home to Ryerson. So what if it is not a good one.

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