Crying, in North American professional sports, is mostly reserved for the winners. Athletes cry when they’re emotionally overwhelmed at a win, while the losing participants quickly depart, stoicism etched into their faces until they exit the public eye. In order to appear strong – particularly if one is an athlete in the spotlight, regardless of skill level – one must hide their emotions following a loss, as to not appear weak.
I personally disagree with the idea of crying equaling weakness, as crying is a good indicator of just how much one cares about what they are doing.
My first days of college were hardly a reflection of what the rest of my college career would be. Forced into orientation groups named after colors – if memory serves – energetic and intoxicated upperclassmen herded us around in groups, until we learned to herd ourselves. Those weeks, we traveled in packs, first grouped by floor, then grouped by interest or field of study, and finally, grouped with those whom we truly could call friends. As it so happened, one of my orientation group-mates ended up in my group of friends. It was a friendship born of similar interest, namely the sport of rugby, and although we grew to be mere acquaintances by the end of our respective college lifetimes, I always enjoyed spending time with him.
Attending a small college – for reference, my graduating class consisted of about 300 students, mirroring my high school graduating class size – is a uniquely insular experience. I received an excellent education; however, the social alliances, friendships, and relationships that were formed were instantly broadcast throughout the school. If something happened, everyone knew a version of the event within 24 hours of its occurrence. These events were not divisive, but my class was certainly split into specific groups of people. This changed during our senior week.