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  • Writer's pictureELLIE DEBRUNNER '23

Get Up and Get Loud

When people consider sports, most most likely think of legends such as Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Ayrton Senna, and Serena Williams. Well, after surveying over 100 students, the Saint Ursula community would like to add Joe Burrow to that list.

Joe Burrow was most people’s favorite current athlete and part of the reason why they watch the Bengals. Joe Burrow was joined by two of his other teammates Evan McPherson and Sam Hubbard as also being popular amongst students. Other current athletes that most students pay attention to are Simone Biles, Rose Lavelle, Lionel Messi, Steph Curry, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Bryce Young, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nick Hagglund, Joey Votto, JP Macura, and Harper Murray. As for retired athletes, many responded with Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, the late Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Usain Bolt, Carli Lloyd, Peyton Manning, Michael Phelps, and the late Dale Earnhardt.

What was probably the most interesting observation from this survey was that football was the only sport that the majority of the student body watches both college football and the NFL. Not to mention football is the most watched sport here at SUA. The most popular teams for college football are Ohio State, University of Cincinnati, Notre Dame, University of Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Michigan, and LSU. The most supported NFL teams here at the Academy are the Bengals, the Packers, the 49ers, the Broncos, the Cowboys, and the Steelers. Most students also revealed that they grew up watching these teams since they were little either because they are from or because their dad got them into football. There are even a few students that revealed that their siblings play or used to play for some of the college teams. As for the NFL most were raised into the fandom as well but some replied that one of their relatives was a referee for the NFL and some revealed they were family friends with coaches such as Coach Zac Taylor.

The next most popular sport that is watched on a regular basis is basketball. College basketball is more popular than the NBA by 30.5%. The most popular college teams to support according to students are Duke, Xavier, Ohio State, University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky, and University of Dayton. Men’s basketball is much more popular to watch than womens as well with only a small part of participants saying that they watch women’s basketball,South Carolina Women’s Basketball to be specific. Many cheer for their favorite college teams because their family are alumni at that university, their sibling goes to school there, or just because they like a majority of players that are on that team. As for the NBA, the most popular teams include the Milwaukee Bucks, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New York Knicks, the Golden State Warriors, the Chicago Bulls, the San Francisco Kings, and the Los Angeles Lakers. These teams were chosen by students because of a favorite player, where they were raised, or because a family member convinced them to like a certain team.

As for other sports, popularity is not in their favor. If a student does watch another sport they most likely only watch it during the Olympics or big events like the World Cup. Another interesting result is that most students only watch sporting events if they take place in America. Sports like Formula 1 and the UEFA are only viewed by 11% of the student body. Despite the overall their growing national popularity, not many of our students interested in these two European sports. Only 11 students revealed that they watched these sports. One of these students said she watched basketball in Europe because of her liking of a former Xavier player, JP Macura. The other students revealed that they grew up watching European football with their dad or for pure enjoyment. As for Formula One racing the top teams from this year's constructors championship were the most popular, which are Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes. Other racing organizations such as NASCAR and IndyCar were more popular than Formula One but not by much.

Overall, school, collegiate, and professional sports are a big part of SUA and American culture. The teams and players that are supported by students here usually inspire them to work hard and believe in themselves. Students feel like sports are meant for entertainment but in reality, they are meant to inspire students in their worth ethic and in their personal lives. Late Kobe Bryant once said: “Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success."

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