A few years ago, a UBC alumnus told me a joke.
Q: What’s the one thing SFU and UBC students have in common?
A: UBC was their first choice!
Ha ha ha. Hilarious. You know what my first choice is? To take your nice little UBC diploma and shove it where you’ll never find it again.1
Stupid UBC. They think they’re so great with their shiny new Student Union Building and their multiple sports stadiums and their functional student society and their school logo that doesn’t look like it belongs to a 3rd-rate community college. Yes, SFU is often the second choice of universities in Vancouver. Yes, SFU doesn’t have some of the nice things the UBC campus does. But you know what? I don’t care! I’m glad I didn’t go to UBC!
I’m glad I went to the school that didn’t boot out their school president after only one year for not being “masculine” enough. I’m glad my school isn’t the one spread out over a million square miles, making me have to use a bike just to get from one class to the other on time. And I’m glad that I went to a school that didn’t make the news when frats got caught teaching vulgar chants about sexual assault that live down to every negative stereotype you’d have about frat boys.2 Yes, I’m glad I went to SFU over UBC. It’s clearly the superior university. I don’t care about your fancy medical school, UBC! FIGHT ME.
As you can see, the SFU/UBC rivalry can be heated. Ask any SFU or UBC graduate what they think of the other school and you’ll get either a defensive insult from the SFU grad or an arrogant “who?” from the UBC grad. You can’t have two large universities in the same city without ending up with some antagonism, and the “little brother syndrome” that many SFU students suffer from certainly adds to the rivalry. It’s a rivalry that’s been used well in the past, particularly in the Shrum Bowl, so I was curious to see how it manifested itself in last Saturday’s preseason hockey game between SFU and UBC.
SFU had a tough task ahead of them. Almost every player on UBC’s roster was from the Western Hockey League (the top junior hockey league in Western Canada), while SFU’s roster was primarily made-up of players from other various junior hockey leagues. Nevertheless SFU played tough throughout the game and even managed to grab the lead, scoring the first goal of the game on a powerplay late in the 1st Period. Unfortunately the lead wouldn’t hold, and despite SFU’s best efforts, the Thunderbirds ultimately prevailed 3-1. The game got testy at times. Lots of chirping and shoving after the whistle in the first two periods, proving that the rivalry is very much alive on the ice. If UBC had gotten a fourth goal to put the game away, we might’ve even seen a fight, but both teams impressed by clamping down on the goofy stuff in the 3rd Period and focusing on trying to win. Once the game ended, the players stayed respectful as they saluted the fans who came out to see them. Despite the loss, it was a promising performance by SFU and things look good for their upcoming season.
The crowd was a bit better than the one at the SFU/UBC women’s soccer match a few weeks ago. I don’t think there was more than eighty people there, but at least it wasn’t just players’ families this time. It probably helps that school is now in session, and it was good to see some UBC fans in attendance. Some even wore UBC hockey jerseys!3 The UBC sound guy did a good job picking music throughout the game, and earned extra points for using AC/DC’s “War Machine,” which I’ve long thought would be a good song for sports events. People were into the game, so it was definitely a step-up from the casual atmosphere at the soccer match.
Admittedly I had hoped to see more of an SFU presence in the crowd, but hey, at least the SFU Superfan showed up again! He did his usual yelling at the players thing and even tried to rally the team by taking off his shirt and swinging it above his head. I swear, this guy is just one notch below showing up to games in costume. One weird moment, though: he showed up wearing a Thunderbirds shirt! The SFU superfan… a turncoat?! I couldn’t believe it. But after the game started, I noticed that the Thunderbirds shirt had mysteriously vanished, only to be replaced by a red shirt (matching SFU’s primary colour). I’m not quite sure what the Thunderbirds shirt was about. Maybe he takes this rivalry way more seriously than everyone else and thought he’d get razzed for wearing something pro-SFU.4 Or maybe he was trying to disguise himself as a UBC student so that he could get a discount on his ticket (joke’s on him. This was a free event). Regardless of his motives, I appreciate his antics, as they definitely liven up the events he attends.
Instead of hosting the game at UBC’s Thunderbird Arena, a very nice (and relatively new) hockey arena, the game was held at the Father David Bauer Arena down the street, which I assume was the old arena the Thunderbirds used to play in. It’s small, grungy, and odorous. While the venue would be perfect for beer league hockey, I couldn’t help but think that this rivalry deserves something a bit grander. There must be tens of thousands of SFU and UBC grads living in Vancouver. We should be filling up the Pacific Coliseum for game between the two schools, just so that we have the chance to get drunk and yell about how our school is better than the other guy’s. The potential is there. I’ve seen it at the Shrum Bowl. There’s no excuse for this game to happen in front of so few people, especially when it was free to attend! I’m not saying it needs to be the grotesque spectacle that college football often is in the United States, but it should at least be a relatively popular event for students and alumni. And if the Shrum Bowl isn’t going to come back anytime soon, then what better occasion to get our UBC-hate on than an annual hockey game?
Anyway, UBC sucks and it’s a big dumb school for stupid idiots.
NEXT WEEK: I head over to Swangard Stadium in Burnaby to see the Clan’s football home opener against last year’s GNAC champion, Humboldt State!5
- Deep in the Robert C. Brown Hall! Go on. Look for it. I dare you. You’ll never make it out alive. ↩
- …because SFU doesn’t have any frats. ↩
- Not gonna lie. The throwback jerseys worn by UBC in this game were pretty dope. If I was a UBC grad (and thank goodness I’m not), I’d be very tempted to get one. ↩
- I wore my SFU scarf and all I got was an approving nod from one of the SFU players. Which was awesome. ↩
- Which, I swear, is a real school. I checked. ↩