Loathing the Lords

Madeleine O'Meara

My hatred for Kenyon College began before I even decided to apply to Oberlin. My first college interview was with Kenyon, and I absolutely bombed it, effectively leaving a bitter taste in my mouth whenever Kenyon is brought up.

This past weekend, the football, men’s soccer and women’s soccer teams all suffered defeat at the hands of Kenyon College. These losses have reignited my layered hatred for the Kenyon College Lords and Ladies.

Undoubtedly, much of this loathing is due to the similarities between Oberlin and Kenyon. The fact that we are both small, private liberal arts schools in Ohio inspires a sibling rivalry not felt for any of the more conservative, less academically rigorous colleges we compete against. And like any jealous sibling, I would like to point out that Oberlin is consistently ranked above Kenyon and currently stands six spots above it in the U.S. News National Liberal Arts College Rankings. But this is beside the point. My present hatred for Kenyon is not because I’m bitter about academics.

It’s because I’m incredibly bitter about athletics — I want to be better than Kenyon at sports.

They say that those who live in glass houses should be the last to cast stones — whoever said this has clearly never seen the Kenyon College Patterson Fitness Center. Luckily, our very own Philips Gym is the architectural equivalent of a tortoise shell, so I can throw as many stones as I want.

It’s hard to say whether it’s the sushi bar stationed at the entrance of the athletics facility or the swimming pool that plays Ke$ha underwater that makes me want to throw stones. Maybe it’s the rows of treadmills flanked by plasma screen televisions that draw a harsh comparison to our hallway filled with rusted exercise bikes, or possibly the 120-seat theater housed inside Kenyon’s shiny glass box.

Ultimately, it’s my personal vendetta that makes me want to shatter the windows of that 12,000–square foot athletics center. My lacrosse team has lost to Kenyon for the past three years. My freshman year we lost 4–20. My sophomore year we were tied before the half. As we walked off for halftime, I heard a Kenyon player turn to her teammate in disbelief and say, “I can’t believe we’re tied with Oberlin.” We ended up losing 10–20. Last year, we lost by one point, 8–9. Each year the gap has decreased, with an inversely proportional relationship to my desire to beat them.

Oberlin loves being the underdog, but I would love beating Kenyon more. I would love to shout, “I practice in a facility that was built before the passage of Title IX, and I still won!” after a Kenyon game. The only thing that might make this victory sweeter is if I could grab a sushi dinner in Philips afterward.