The Friday after Thanksgiving I attended the Penn State women’s volleyball game against Northwestern.
As I sat in the crowd with my wife and parents, I reflected on how the sports experience I was having embodied the best of collegiate sports. The game was fun, fast-paced and exciting.
My grandfather, the late Eugene A. Myers, was a professor of economics at Penn State. During many summers in my childhood I would spend several idyllic weeks with my grandparents in Happy Valley. In our conversations, my grandfather often lamented that many sports had become so expensive that a working father or mother couldn’t afford to take their child to a game.
Not so with Penn State women’s volleyball. Tickets were $10 and countless children were having a blast dancing and celebrating the Lady Lions’ athletic prowess with their families. The game was exciting and the arena felt intimate and family friendly.
At the Penn State football game the following day, attendees were far more limited to those able to pay exorbitant ticket prices to have an experience bearing far greater resemblance to a gladiator match in the coliseum during the waning years of the Roman Empire than a family-oriented sporting event. I was happy about the Penn State victory over Michigan State on Saturday, but as a country we need to embrace sports such as women’s volleyball as inclusive and entertaining events that reflect the best of what collegiate sports have to offer.
Rob Ryder, Columbus, Ohio