The College Cup! (About That Noncompetitive Thing…)

Part of my school’s central mission in educating medical students is to keep its students well. We have built-in retreats, access to mental health resources, and a variety of clubs designed specifically to promote wellness. The capstone of the program is this: once a year, the entire school comes together to compete in an almost-two day competition called College Cup. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re divided into four “colleges,” Hogwarts-style, primarily for the purpose of small group learning and logistics. But during College Cup, people don their colors, swag out with Thunderstix and tanks and masks (?) and Braveheart-style body paint, and yell themselves hoarse.

For instance, here is one of our College mentors – a senior faculty member here who normally leads our weekly ethics discussions with extreme seriousness – dressed like a serial killer/member of the Blue Man Group:


And one of my classmates, who discovered an old Stitch costume:


Anyway. For those of you that attended summer camp, College Cup is basically Color War, except with roughly 150 very smart, organized, Type-A hypercompetitive people.

(If you have no idea what Color War is, a) Google it and b) it’s basically hyperorganized intramural sports, but with much more yelling.)

The intensity level got extreme at times. Would you like some examples?

Yes. Yes you do.

  1. During a basketball game, one of our players –a first year who walked on to a powerhouse D-1 college football team as an offensive lineman – drove to the basket, went up for the shot, and ran over a pint-sized girl standing under the basket. You could hear the collision from the street. The girl went flying six feet backward and landed like a dropped sack of potatoes.
    1. My friend celebrated his made basket with a Tiger Woods fist pump.
  2. Turns out that our ping-pong player, T., was nationally ranked as a teenager. In the finals, T. ran off sixteen straight points before realizing that the poor guy’s wife and kids were there. He gave him a few points before locking up the championship.
  3. The entrance for one college included a full-blown haka.
  4. In volleyball, a six-foot-six resident goofball who smiles for sixteen hours a day got inexplicably angry mid-game and went full Beast Mode, spiking the ball straight into a girl’s face.
    1. Three times.
  5. I shoulder checked someone in Ultimate Frisbee and sent the guy sprawling. Apparently that is against the rules. I was yelled at.
  6. My roommate pegged a girl in the face with a volleyball during dodgeball. No one saw her again after that.
    1. We think she’s okay, but no one knows for sure.

As far as I know, here is the post-College Cup injury report:

  • Dislocated shoulder (required medical attention)
  • Sprained knee (required medical attention)
  • Pegged In Face By Volleyball Girl
  • My legs (required Advil)
  • Roommate’s entire body (required more Advil)
  • The girl that got run over by the offensive lineman (status unknown)

Like I was saying. Type A competitive people.

After the Cup was awarded last night (my roommate’s college won), everyone went out to a bar to celebrate not studying for a full 24 hours. It was fun, end of story. And now… back to the books.

Or maybe football. It is Sunday, after all, and we ordered Red Zone a couple of weeks ago.


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