Here’s the thing about Division III athletics – They’re basically D-I, except for the skill, size, speed, strength, hype, ability, money, lifestyle, and the fact girls don’t care about you extending the high school glory days 4-more years. Oh, and nobody outside the D-III circle really gives a hoot. Sure, if you’re playing, coaching, have friends or family involved, you have a dog in the fight. But other than that, nobody is exactly gambling* on Division III games or heavily invested in the given sports.
Yeah, you get your great plays, highlights, and games. You even get a decent player or two coming out of the D-III ranks from time to time – Here’s looking at you London Fletcher, Pierre Garcon, and Billy “White Shoes” Johnson. But the majority of the glory is provided mostly within and with the people closest to the cause, and THAT’S why it’s awesome when a buzzer beater like this happens. You got two basketball teams in the depths of despair battling to what might as well be to the death. One team is bleeding before a dozen or so of their fans while the other took a 3-hour bus ride on a Monday through the sticks just to play the damn game. And that’s why everything from the players reactions to the announcer reaching new heights of puberty solely for course credit is so genuine. So pure. So D-III. Gotta love it when glory happens.
*Quick little sad Susquehanna football story (somehow) involving D-III football lines from my junior year. We decided to take Urban Meyer’s fresh, electric, and seemingly unstoppable new Utah and Florida) spread offense scheme to the Division III level. A brilliant initiative that would’ve separated us from the pack. And it would have worked if we had, you know, athletes. Apparantly when you don’t have the likes of Chris Leak, Alex Smith, or Tim Tebow running the spread it’s a little difficult to football.
Long story short, we were preparing to limp our 1-7 dicks that featured an offense that hasn’t scored a single point in the first half all season while leading the nation in turnovers into face a dominating Widener University squad. The Pioneers were whipping up on teams all season as they were the D-III version of The Program with kids that had the reading comprehension of an Alvin Mack.
Needless to say, we were in for a good ol’ fashion Chester whoopin’ (slightly better than a Chester shootin’). Before the game, our offensive coordinator roared in huffing, puffing, and aggressively stamped a piece of paper to the board with the tenacity and raw emotion of Martin Luther nailing truths to the town Church door:
“Nobody believes in us. NOBODY! I want you all to take a good look at what this motherfucker thinks about us and take it to heart!”
Someone was actually doing previews, lines, and odds for Division III football games. The gentleman had us (former) Crusaders as +35 going into the game. He even provided the final score, 42-7.
“You know what, men? This is PERSONAL. This motherfucker basically thinks you’re going to get fucked in the ass while your dog is watching and then you see your dog get gutted and fucked (for some reason an actual D-III football coach quote, verbatim, which would be sad if it wasn’t not even close to the more quizzical thing we’ve ever heard in the locker room). FUCK THAT. I believe in you. I know you got the talent and the fight to take it to them. FUCK being so-called 35 point underdogs. It’s time to shock the world, Crusaders. LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO**!!!”
And so we stormed onto the field like William Wallace’s army ready to fight like warrior poets for our freedom…and lost. 42-7.
I distinctly remember looking at my buddy before the game and both of us saying “What kind of a LUNATIC do you need to be to waste ANY time on providing football lines for pointless D-III games? Lock that fucker away for life as he’s already a plague on society.” Well I’ll tell you what, if that batshit can accurately pinpoint the exact score of a random Pennsylvania D-III contest, he gets all of the respect. Someone find this Rain Man of uselessness and get him in my corner for life. That or swipe his Grays Sports Almanac from Back To The Future II and let’s place some bets. This space time continuum can go to hell.
**This also reminded me of a separate time when our strength and conditioning coach led us onto the field with a live, running chainsaw because we were going to “Cut them in half”….and we lost 61-0. Why, yes, I question my life decisions of playing Division-III football everyday.