Ratner beach

%20beach-night2.jpgOur rivals down at Wash U might have six national championships between their men’s and women’s basketball teams, but no team in the UAA has a match for Beach Night.

The fifth annual beach night arrived last week, bringing with it a Ratner gym full of festive decorations, beach costumes (one guy went with the classic Hawaiian shirt and hiked-up khaki shorts, while a couple of girls splashed on as many brightly-colored layers as they could find), and the relief of a warm atmosphere on a cold 24-degree Friday evening.

Third-year Jordan Holliday and I were on the call to broadcast the Maroons’ doubleheader against NYU, and although we got several e-mails from listeners about the games’ action, the highlight of the night came from women’s coach Aaron Roussell’s father, Rick, who wrote in to say: “Please tell Aaron that he looks ready to move to Del Boca Vista Phase II. He could even go to dinner at 4:30 for the early-bird discount.” We read his message over the broadcast, but I’m not sure there’s anything we could have said to properly capture that green floral pattern.

Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on your taste in shirts—Coach Roussell didn’t participate in the intermission costume contest, which featured both male and female students wearing mismatched beachwear who seemed to have forgotten that the bathing suit usually goes on before the short shorts. Personally, I was pulling for the house that collectively dressed up as an octopus; I think they would have had the $100 prize wrapped up if their whole cheering section weren’t inside the costume. The intermission also featured a limbo contest, but I graciously bowed out before the competition started—in the interest of fairness, of course.

Fun—and free Hawaiian pizza—was had by all, especially when both Chicago teams topped the Violets for their fourth straight Beach Night sweep.

I wouldn’t mind if every game were Beach Night; I wouldn’t go so far as to call it timeless, but my good friend Walt Whitman might disagree. Looking back, his “On the Beach at Night” was about 106 years ahead of its time: “Something there is/…Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter/Longer than sun, or any revolving satellite/Or the radiant brothers, the Maroons.”

That’s how it goes, right?

Jake Grubman, ’11

Photography by Camille van Horne, ’12.

January 20, 2010