March 3, 2011 - 4:13pm
BY COURTNEY FLETCHER
An Athletic Department works a lot like a movie studio. Within a movie studio — like Universal — there are big budget blockbusters and smaller films. Blockbusters can appeal to the masses, bring in big money and serve as a source of funding for the smaller budget films within the studio. Likewise, if the studio has too many flops, it could face bankruptcy.
The same goes for a large Athletic Departments like that at Michigan’s. Football, ice hockey and men’s basketball qualify as the “blockbusters” of the department that in turn allow the rest of the 22 “smaller film” sports to exist.
At times, I’m torn between the conundrum of the revenue and non-revenue sports. As a player on a non-revenue sport I am incredibly thankful we have such lucrative sports (football funding a large percentage of the Department) it’s also easy to resent the amount of attention they get when you are putting in the same amount of hours and work in as they are.
But my point is while the blockbusters are great, sometimes the smaller films can earn the high honors as well (like National Championships). And if you wouldn’t miss seeing a fantastic film because it’s not a blockbuster, why would you miss out on seeing fantastic non-revenue sports as well? While sports like gymnastics, volleyball, softball and swimming might not be bringing in the big bucks, they shouldn’t be dismissed because they aren’t the most popular.
So now that your Saturdays are free from tailgating, it might be worth your while to stop by a swim meet, a wrestling match or a gymnastics meet. It’s the same fight song, with the same “Win For Michigan” attitudes. It’s time to give “independent film” sports a chance this semester.