WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — It was a fine spring day as the last hoop roller of the season ambled across the finish line of William and Mary’s 320th Hoop and Stick Racing Open. Once more the William and Mary varsity squad entered the Open as reigning champions, competed uncontested, and retained their laurels.
With deft hands and straight sticks they guided their hoops down the track, posting times well within the range of those previously recorded.
Although the lads and ladies of William and Mary revelled in their continued winning streak, there was a fleeting moment of melancholy as they lamented their lack of opponents. “’Twould be grand to be challenged in one’s best skill,” Benedict Smith remarked. “The victory is as hollow as the hoop when fought against only the memory of past teams.”
The team’s coach, however, was well pleased with the day’s results, boasting that he was the winningest coach in the history of antiquated pastimes practiced at the collegiate level.
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“The students these days care only for the frivolities of the modern age: telephones, moving picture shows, not dying of tuberculosis,” Coach Julius Naismith said.
“They’ve let these cherished games of old pass them by. These games were once the main amusement for our forebears, a wholesome diversion from the toil of life on the farm before succumbing to consumption at the ripe old age of 25.”
William and Mary’s hoop and stick team joins several other collegiate teams in the National Conference of Antiquated Amusements, or the NCAA. Washington and Lee University has been a part of the organization since the late 1700s, boasting the nation’s finest cockfighting team. James Madison University followed with their very own rounders team, expressing the hope that this modern fad of “baseball” will eventually die out. Virginia Tech has already become the world record holder in cow tipping, with over 150 cows tipped this year so far. Finally, the University of Virginia’s dueling team has bested all comers, though they are currently on sabbatical following the accidental death of their coach in what members described as a fairly heated practice.
Despite all this, the crown jewel of the NCAA remains the hoop and stick team of William and Mary.
Though they lack opponents, students flock to the games. Citing varied reasons such as “lack of any bars,” “a malfunctioning butter churn,” and “soul-deadening boredom,” the school’s hoop and stick team never fails to draw a crowd. In fact, attending the weekly hoop and stick games has officially surpassed smoking pot in the woods as the average William and Mary student’s favorite pastime.
“Basketball, football, this newfangled European flash in the pan they call ‘soccer,’ these all pale in comparison to hoop and stick,” Coach Naismith stated.
However, all is not well for the hoop and stick team as Coach Naismith is currently under investigation for a myriad of NCAA violations stemming from allegations that he illegally paid players with black-market artisanal turnips in the off-season. Naismith has vigorously disputed these allegations.
“Let me go on record as saying that I have never paid any hoop and stick player under the table. In fact, my family has a long and storied tradition of never paying anyone for any work whatsoever, at least right up until 1865 or thereabouts.”
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