By Lizette Roman-Johnston
By now everybody has noticed the new athletics apparel—the matching green sweatshirts, shirts, and pants with various numbers below the Skidmore logo. Many have called the numbering of our athletes dehumanizing; do we really need numbers when we already have names?
Despite the jokes about a loss of identity, student athletes have actually embraced the number system. We have overheard athletes make lighthearted remarks. “Just call me 183,” a senior on the softball team said. But some athletes have been less facetious about the whole thing, having told their professors to call them by their number and refusing to respond to their name. “I make my boyfriend say my number in the bedroom,” said a sophomore on the crew team. Other athletes have changed their Facebook names, which has confused relatives but will surely be explained at Thanksgiving.
“My daughter told me she was legally changing her name,” said the tearful mother of a first year on women’s lacrosse. “Her name is Lilia—the Latin word for lily—which represents innocence, purity, and beauty. Soon, I’ll have to call her 234, or else she will never talk to me again.”
“The Yankees do it,” Mark Parson—captain of the baseball team—reminded Skidmo’. Out of curiosity, we asked him who his favorite Yankee of all time was. He said “2.”
Overheard in the dining hall was someone gushing about the newest athlete couple—a girl on the rowing squad and a boy on the basketball team; “438 is such a cute couple,” the girl said. After some research, we have concluded that the girl’s number is 123, and the boy’s number is 315.
Are Skidmore athletes losing their identities? Has becoming a part of the team taken priority over being an individual? If this reaction persists, the athletic director may have to revoke the number assignments before more parents and professors start to complain.