To whom it may concern, regarding the satirical Backdoor Article, “New study finds LC actually has an Athletics Department,”
I am in my second year here at Lewis & Clark, I participate in cross country and track and field. I do not speak for the entirety of the athletic department or every student athlete, but I do offer my one point of view as a student athlete that I hope others share. To start, this article is clearly satire. The Backdoor is a separate entity of the PioLog and is “a work of humor and fiction.” I have read several satirical Backdoor articles and this is not the first time a demographic or group at our school has been satirized or made fun of. If you are not an avid reader of The Backdoor, or even the PioLog, I implore you to go back and read some of the articles. For an example, the satirical article published on Sept. 22 makes fun of LC’s more outdoorsy, “hippy” demographic, titled: “DID YOU KNOW: The Average Lewis & Clark Student is a 1999 Subaru Outback.” Now, obviously our average student is not a car, but Subarus have the connotation of being the outdoorsy car so when we see everyone walking around barefoot, talking about the hike they are going to do this weekend, and they all happen to drive Subarus, it is funny to call this out via satire. This is all satire and its purpose is to make a parody out of people and events. If you also care for another satirical Backdoor example, please read, “Tragic: we fed a standard Bon dinner to our mascot and it died.” If you read just the headline and truly believe that one of our precious newfoundlands actually ate Bon food and actually died, then I hate to inform you that the point has been missed once again. In plain terms, every article written by the Backdoor is satire.
I would also like to point out that student athletes were not the only ones mentioned in this article. Towards the end of the article, SOAN majors, and their sensitive and politically correct demeanor, are mentioned. For a direct quote, in case you forgot because it was not about student athletes, it said “‘This is problematic,’ every SOAN major said before finding out what was being discussed.” As I read this, I find this more “offensive” than the rest of this article but for some reason I have heard no uproar from SOAN majors, but maybe it is because they understand what satire is or they know how to joke, even with how politically correct they can be. I think we should all use SOAN majors as an example. Look upon them and think about how they let things roll off their backs. They are able to laugh and make fun of themselves rather than getting up in arms and having an article revoked. They get it. They understand satire.
Now I want to address the fact that nowhere in the article did it insult the ability or stats of any one specific team. It simply mentioned the fact that Copeland is known to be the hall where athletes reside and that typically student athletes like to wear high white socks. We must all understand, we go to a Division III, small liberal arts school where sports are not everyone’s number one priority. Student athletes work hard and put in lots of time, and as I read this article I saw no one trying to dispute that fact. Student athletes have a large workload and can be overwhelmed. I know I have been. However, that does not mean that those who do not participate in sports do not work just as hard or are not just as overwhelmed, it just happens to be about other things. There are things in people’s lives that are bigger than sports. To be honest, no one really cares that student athletes live in Copeland Hall or want to carry gallons jugs, but it is funny to point out that these are prevalent tropes.
Student athletes put themselves on a pedestal. I run cross country, which I understand is not the most recognized sport. Football is more exciting than watching someone run around a park, but I am still a student athlete. I work just as hard. I am no less of a student athlete than a student athlete who plays golf, football, swims, and so on. Just as they are no less than I. Maybe it is because I do not carry a gallon jug around (weak runner arms, am I right?) and understand satire, but I was not offended by this article. To be honest, if you are so mad that someone mentioned the fact you wear white socks, you need to realize that the world is bigger than you and your sport. I cannot tell you how to feel or how to react to anything, but the fact that the student athletes and athletic department interpreted this satirical article completely wrong to the point that they were offended and it had to be taken down is, quite frankly, sad. As a student athlete, I thought our athletic department bred tougher athletes, apparently not.
Keira Crabtree ’20