When first introduced to our small school in the middle of Lincoln Neb. the average person would likely not see a sports school.
However, if you look beyond the surface, Union can quickly become the perfect sports environment.
For many of us, our first introduction to Union was through a sports tournament in high school. Every year, both in volleyball and basketball, the pinnacle of the season is the Union tournament.
Without knowing it, I (and I’m sure others) developed a love for the Thunderdome, and for the announcing voice of Buell Fog echoing annually through the gym. With little effort you find yourself going back year after year to watch the next waves of athletes.
From the first week of school right up until finals, there’s constantly an intramural sport or a set of class games happening. While these aren’t unique to Union, it’s always fun to play against friends and people you know. The community isn’t something you can get anywhere else.
Then the real sports seasons begin. The Thunderdome is filled with passionate cries of "UUUUUUUUUNIONNNNNNNN!" from superfan Roger Stern and his echoing chorus of students in the bleachers.
For me, these games are much more meaningful because I have friends playing. At a large sports school, it would be challenging to get to know more than a couple of the athletes.
And then there’s the student center. A place filled with sports fans from all corners of the country, and all regions of the globe. I have countless memories of watching games, participating in debates (read: arguments and trash talk). These have fostered fun rivalries and tremendous friendships that I wouldn’t have made if not for time spent in the student center.
It’s indisputable that sports can bring people together. It’s also indisputable that our campus is close to begin with.
For me personally, it’s the culture at Union in conjunction with sports that has given me the chance to form incredible, lifelong friendships.
This is what makes Union so great.
I can walk anywhere on campus, see someone I know and make conversation about some sort of sport with them.
I can wear bright orange and blue every day and get away with it (though it certainly draws its fair share of sarcastic comments from fans of subpar teams).
I can step outside the dorm on a sunny day and interrupt a game of catch to get in a throw of my own.
I can sign up for any intramural sport and know that I’ll get a chance to play and contribute.
I can go to the student center on any given night and find sports on the T.V. and good people to converse with.
The whole school year can go by without a single day void of sports.
That’s why I love Union.
Tyler Dean is a junior studying business administration.