If there is one thing that is true about all Lehigh students, it is that we all hate Lafayette.
As a first-year student, I have yet to learn why the Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry was started or why it has persisted over the years. I have learned, however, that few things run deeper in the Lehigh community than the hatred students feel toward Lafayette.
While this rivalry holds true for every sport, Le-Laf week is the climax of these anti-Lafayette sentiments.
Everyone enjoys loathing the Lafayette Leopard, tweeting about the rivalry game and bashing Lafayette in Instagram captions.
While this rivalry certainly adds character to the campus climate, it does little to promote attendance to any sporting events other than the football game against Lafayette.
A rivalry can make that specific game or match more exciting, but a sports season is much more than just one rivalry game.
Sure, Le-Laf week is the most wonderful time of the year. But wouldn’t it be even more wonderful if we extended the excitement of that lone week to last the entire year?
Supporting Lehigh during the Le-Laf game is one of the most quintessential parts of being a Lehigh student, and I hope this rivalry continues for as long as both schools exist. We should, however, support all of our teams throughout their respective seasons.
As everyone knows, each team has a full season of games played against teams other than Lafayette. Each sport has a season that consists of multiple games, played both at home and away locations, which are open to Lehigh students and the public.
It is clear from the celebrations we host that we love Lehigh, so it is time to show that spirit outside of Le-Laf week and cheer at some of the events that typically have smaller turnouts.
As the spring semester gets underway, make it a priority to attend a few sporting events that you may not have thought to attend. Throw on as many brown and white articles of clothing as you can fit on your body and paint on a face tattoo from the bookstore before you arrive at the stadium or field.
It doesn’t matter if you attend a lacrosse game, a basketball game or a wrestling match. All that matters is that you are displaying school pride while supporting the athletes who are our peers and friends.
Go to a basketball game to support the player who sits behind you in chemistry. Watch a wresting match to cheer on your hall mate. You can support both the sports program and your peers by attending a game or two.
The student-athletes train during hours of the day when most of us are still in bed, and they work tirelessly to represent Lehigh in a positive light and bring home a win. We should encourage them to do their best by cheering for them.
If sports aren’t your favorite thing, bring friends along with you to the game. You can create your own student section if there isn’t one so you can sing the classic fight songs. Half the fun of cheering on your school comes from celebrating victories with those who are around you, so you may even end up talking to other students and making new friends in the process.
While you’re making friends at the track meet, you may also be simultaneously improving campus climate. Nothing unites people like the common enemy of an opposing team. It’s easy to get along with people when you are both supporting the same team and hoping for the same outcome.
Jumping from one game to another match with your friends is an entertaining way to spend your free nights, and picking a team to follow for a season can be even more thrilling.
Sticking with one team for a season will show your dedication and support, and you are sure to witness some amazing plays and dramatic upsets.
Yes, we beat Duke in 2012. That win was historic, but so were the games leading up to the win. The road to victory is half the fun of a sports season, so enjoy the ride.
Attending any sporting event at Lehigh is a rewarding and thrilling experience, and we should all make a conscious effort to support Lehigh athletics during events that are not against Lafayette. We know how much we love Lehigh, and now it’s time to show how much school pride we have.