A display of Yale spirit. After hearing news of bladderball’s return to Yale, the Johns Hopkins News-Letter published a three-page opinion piece explaining why Johns Hopkins needs bladderball, and commenting on the awesomeness of Yale in general.

Yoni Silverman writes:

Imagine you are one in a crowd of 1,000 students running all over campus and trying to herd, in different directions, a ball larger than a small car. Imagine jumping on cars, climbing trees and scrambling up fences to hit the ball in your desired direction. Imagine the ball breaking and ripping into pieces as your peers wrestle for every last remaining section. Imagine you’re having a ball (pun intended), and you’re excited to be part of something larger than yourself. Imagine an overwhelming sense of pride and spirit toward your group and your school. I don’t have to imagine this story. I lived it.

This past weekend, I visited my girlfriend at Yale University. On the phone, she often spoke of her residential college, a foreign concept to me as a Hopkins student. She explained all students are assigned to a residential college, with which they are associated for their four years as undergraduates. The vast majority of students choose to live in their residential college all four years. Each college has its own housing, dining hall, courtyard, mascot, cheer and apparel.

Bladder Ball taught me something fundamental about students at Yale. They want to be there. They want to participate, they want to get excited, and they want to and do love their school. They feel invested in something larger than themselves, because they feel connected to Yale through their residential colleges.

What’s more, they shift seamlessly from intra-school spirit to inter-school spirit. One makes the other contagious. At the end of the day, the competition did not make students antagonistic toward one another; instead, it united them under the banner of Yalie camaraderie.