By Jack MacCool & Gavin Axelrod
Those of you who see us loitering around the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) may just think we’re superfans of the university’s sports teams. But sometimes, as sports editors, we do a little bit of work around here too. And our work was never more rigorous, exhausting and sad than on Feb. 25 when all five varsity teams at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) left in the playoffs faced elimination in their post-season matchups.
For some, that was just one day closer to the end of the month. However, for these two schmucks from The Eyeopener, that day was more like a marathon. One that ended with no winners. Seriously, not one team that played won a game that day.
This is the story of that day. A day some might consider the Darkest Day in Bold History.
Our day began with a trip to Subway on Carlton Street. Our sandwich artist prepped our meals for what we thought would be a great day. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so naturally we crammed meaty footlongs in our mouths. Frankly, they were delicious.
After leaving Subway, we made our way over to the MAC where the women’s hockey team was about to kick off the day. Normally we’re serious reporters and our paycheque doesn’t revolve around who wins and loses. But on this day, we were all in on the squad’s quest to force a deciding Game 3 against the University of Toronto (U of T).
It was also the Bold Broadcast debut of our good pal Isabelle Rossi. She picked the potential final home game of the year to make her sideline debut and knocked it out of the park.
While some of the fans in attendance were there to watch hockey, we spent most of the game cheering for the sideline reporter.
The two of us had decided to split up the men’s and women’s basketball games but quickly determined that we’d be better off giving those writing opportunities to some of our great volunteers.
In what could only be considered an act of God or some other higher power, our ace basketball writer Armen Zargarian’s Twitter fingers were active and ready to type. Armen was in California and posted a tweet about not being able to write the game recap. But what he didn’t realize is that The Eye doesn’t have trade agreements that bar us from publishing across international borders.
Armen was in—all the way from California.
As we were rallying our troops, the Bold women’s hockey team had a game to win. They were rallying as well but the score still wasn’t in their favour. By the time the clock struck 5 p.m., the first of five teams had fallen.
The men’s basketball game in Ottawa was already underway along with women’s volleyball who were in action in Waterloo, Ont.
We stopped by a poorly attended watch party in the Jet Ice Lounge made up of mostly TMU staff. As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. So naturally, we decided to move this two-man party to our office on 55 Gould Street where nobody would know if we were cheering for the Bold.
5:40 p.m.-ish… (It’s been a while since that day)
We were like “Wow what a game.”
The Bold men’s basketball team’s season was on the line and they had one final possession to knock off the uOttawa Gee-Gees, one of the best teams in Canada.
This one though, might go down as the most heartbreaking loss of the day. And trust, there were a lot of losses that day.
TMU was down by a single point and failed to capitalize before time expired, allowing the Gee-Gees to narrowly advance to the next round with a 73-72 win.
Oh and who could forget that Armen secured interviews with coaches and players while he was in another goddamn country. Although Armen found a rare win that day, there were no more to come for the men’s basketball team this season.
We can confidently say we wouldn’t want to be on the bus ride back from that one.
As if the day couldn’t get worse for the school, the women’s volleyball team was also eliminated at the hands of Waterloo. And since we’re leaving our jobs, we’ll expose ourselves and say that this squad was one of our favourite to cover this year.
It was at this point where reality set in for us. This really could be the last day we cover sports games at the university.
However, there were two more games left to play and we were cautiously optimistic about the Bold’s chances. The men’s volleyball team was set for a rematch with McMaster, whose undefeated streak had ended at the hands of TMU just eight days prior. Then it was the reigning national champion women’s basketball team who were facing off against the Carleton Ravens on the road in Ottawa.
By the time the clock struck 8 p.m., another TMU titan had toppled. The women’s basketball team came up just short against the eventual national champion Ravens and at this point, any faith we had left in humanity was lost.
We were so sad, we even pawned off the last recap of the day to one of our volunteers so we could wallow in our sorrows without having to have one eye on the men’s volleyball game—massive shoutout to Kaden Nanji for that one.
By a score of three sets to one, McMaster sent the men’s volleyball team into the off-season, and us? They sent us into a pit of despair. At that point, we were on the low. We were taking our time processing what had gone down on that day. Who can relate?
After all that time, one final recap to file. One final stamp on the year that was for Bold athletics and more importantly, a stamp on The Eye’s sports coverage (Whomp whomp).
More than 36 days have passed since that day.
The MAC gym is quiet. There is no longer music or the sound of cheering fans. The screechy squeaking of basketball and volleyball shoes no more as the players are done with their games for the year. Upstairs at the rink, events have occurred but it’s not the same as the blue and gold of the Bold.
And for us, well, this is the last time ever that we’ll fill the pages of ye olde Eyeopener. It’s been a good year. No actually, it’s been a great year. Even though our print coverage is done, the real friends were the volunteers we met along the way.
But just because our print cycle is done for now, doesn’t mean we don’t have stories on the way. Because at The Eye, there’s always more to come.