Nov 13, 2009, 10:00 AM EDT
One of the last things I expected to find on AOL Fanhouse this morning was a lengthy manifesto denouncing Quidditch — the sport you only think you know until it is someday featured on ESPN’s 30 for 30. But there it is; written by Chris Senso, who in addition to being an AOL contributor happens to be a recent graduate of Middlebury College, which funds a Quidditch program.
Middlebury recently sent Senso a donation request — as colleges are wont to do with their alumni — which rubbed Senso the wrong way. Why, he asks, are his dollars being used to purchase Quidditch brooms, when other more basic programs are going unfunded?
For added emphasis, I have found some Quidditch rules and will add them randomly throughout this post.
Quaffle-pocking: Chasers must not tamper with the Quaffle in any way.
From Senso on Fanhouse:
Before I decide to donate some of my hard-earned dollars to the College I love, I would like to express a few grievances about the financial allocations process, mainly about the absurdity of providing funding to Harry Potter wannabees who trounce around with brooms that don’t fly between their legs and put my beloved Middlebury on the national radar for its Quidditch ‘team.’
The fact that the Quidditch program receives school funding while other legitimate programs go unfunded puts an unfair burden on the students who are involved in real, worthwhile projects and organizations that would benefit greatly from the money being allocated to the Cape and Broom fund.
This is believed to be the first instance of a college funding a fictional team, other than Washington State football.
Bumphing: Beaters must not hit Bludgers towards spectators
According to Wikipedia, Middlebury has four regulation Quidditch pitches. They also have something called the Bread Loaf School of English, which sounds like something J.J. Rowling wold have invented.
This past October, Middlebury played host to the Quidditch World Cup, which drew teams from 14 universities, among them Louisiana State and the University of Washington. It’s described here as a worthwhile, community-uniting event, which is really more than you can say for some college sports.
And judging from these photos, the World Cup seems to have been more well attended than your typical Florida Marlins game.
Blagging: No player may seize any part of an opponent’s broom.
So is Senso on to something? Or is he just a little embarrassed that his college is hanging him with the nerd tag by association? I tend to think that one man’s Quidditch is another man’s chess is another man’s water polo or rugby. If the activity is well-attended, it should probably be funded. Plus Hermoine is over 18 now and very hot. What? Who said that?
Players may take their wands onto the pitch, but they must not be used on or against the referee, any of the four balls, or the spectators.
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