Coming to Bowdoin this past fall, I hadn't really thought too much about the relationship between athletes and non-athletes. I mean, why would I have?
It seemed like a worry specifically for non-athletes, and since I had been considered an athlete for a while, it didn't seem like something that would apply to me. But after finding out that varsity soccer somehow did not have a spot for a player as average as Tuesday's soul food dinner at Thorne, I found that I had to leave my athletic status back at home.
However, I didn't realize I lost my position at first. It took a trip to Harpswell for that to happen. As usual, I was being overly friendly, and led my boys to parties where we knew no one but good old Bud and Natty, both light, cause why do it any other way. While they were being great hosts, there were a bunch of large guys chilling next to a keg.
When I say large, I mean older looking and quite big, to the point that I wouldn't be surprised if they already had families of their own.
So we're all chilling in our own little areas outside, when one of the bigger guys, let's call him Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, turns to one of his boys, who we'll call Leonidas from "300", and says, "Bro, don't you feel like just beating up some non-athletes?" which got Leonidas pretty excited.
Now, although it was dark, I'm pretty sure I got a look from The Rock, and while he didn't ask me what he was going to be cooking, I knew the answer was NARP.
Contrary to popular belief, NARP doesn't mean Naughty Angry Red Pubes, although I have recently heard it used in that way, but Non-Athletic Regular People. So, thanks to The Rock, I found out that, at Bowdoin, if you are not a varsity athlete, you're a NARP.
I've tried to create a sub-category for those of us who almost play a sport, a.k.a. junior varsity soccer, ultimate frisbee, and I'll include rugby on account of their star player Sharif Younes '13 being jacked to the max, but there's nothing doing—I'm a NARP.
But it's not all that bad. Even though this only applies for female athletes, it means I don't have to have a water bottle that squeaks like the L.A. Galaxy fan in "I Love You, Man."
Seriously though, the probable benefits are the extra time I get that I can spend doing nothing productive and not having to wake up at the crack of dawn to do some speed training.
I know that there will always be team dinners and team parties, but even with these differences and traditions, there's no reason for building a gap between the two groups.
So I propose that here at Bowdoin, which by the way was ranked by some magazine whose name I can't remember as the fifth jockiest school in the nation, we start a process of integration. Maybe some new policies could be enacted like "adopt a NARP" or, like when principals would try and be kids in middle school, we could do an athlete-oriented "NARP for a day."
It might just be that I'm trying to get invited to the next Baseball party, but actually, why don't we athletes (sorry, you athletes) try and change it up a little bit, and embrace your inner NARP. See you at the VAC.