>Subject: Re: Betting Shirts
>> The really interesting thing is the reflection of rowing in the US that this
>> debate provides. Giving up one's shirt in college reflects the fact that
>> rowing in the US is seen as a sport that one pursues for a very brief time.
>> Thus, individual races are a huge deal, as opposed to being seen as a small
>> step in one's evolution as a rower. If people rowed for longer, and
>> there were many more races (e.g. Europe), then these goofy marketing
>> campaign-like features of the sport (e.g. exchanging shirts and acting
>Now I would be the first to lament the shortness of the collegiate rowing
>experience. I took up rowing my freshman year and now this being my junior
>year I'm just beginning to get a real sense of the sport and its enormous
>possibilities. I regret that I have but one more year to give to this
>endeavor. My body is just getting the idea, my heart is inextricably bound
>up in the sport, and my mind is just learning the true meaning of racing.
>I almost wish that I had another year of eligibility. That somewhow I
>could be "redshirted" and magically given that little extra time.
>But I know that is impossible. I know that I have exactly four years and
>no more to row collegiately. And I know even more painfully that
>afterwards I probably will never has such an opportunity to row. That is
>the reality of the situation. I must begin to make a life for myself which
>probably won't allow the time that this sport demands for excellence. And
>if I row I want nothing less than the best from myself.
>This is the attitude that I have learned from collegiate rowing. The time
>is short, too short to waste time or effort. I have become keenly aware of
>the power and beauty of those moments on the water for I have only a
>limited amount. So I say what is wrong with a life short but intense, a
>rowing career only four years in length but ancient in breadth and depth.
>Rowing in the United States is flawed, but rowing in Europe is not
>perfect. We have our shining moments of perfection. I don't think it's
>right to forget them. They include the traditions of collegiate rowing, of
>the clubs of Philadelphia and Boston, of betting shirts. There are reasons
>rowing is unlike any other sport in America, and American rowing is so
>unlike the sport in other countries.
MUST end when you graduate Yale? I don't believe George was making
a qualitative comparison about which place rowing is 'better', but
that the perspectives are different in different places, and often
the perspectives are different in the same place.
We had a thread a ways back about 'What's wrong with USRowing as an
organization'. There were some differing opinions, of course, among
them was the idea that the camp systems and national selection
criteria have killed the club systems. Another was that the club
system was already flawed and failing - that there are no inherhent
incentives in the US to row unless you got a national team shot.
Is this a situation where you have a grad school lined up, or job
lined up that is far away from a racing shell? Is it a situation
that you feel it's only worth doing if you felt you could make a
I'd be interested in your perspective.