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Tape Ball Victory

Hello, Bronco athletes out there.

Today is a day to remember. A day in which legends are made. A day of song, dance, celebration, and most of all…victory.

Today is the day when the cast of the show I am currently in, “Whatever Happened to Gloomy Gus of the Chicago Bears?”…won the gold in tape ball.

What is “tape ball”, you are probably asking? Don’t worry. I will tell you. Tape ball is a game that is played in rehearsals when your director is Mark Liermann. You stand in a circle with your fellow castmates. You are handed the ball, in which all different kinds of tape is a main component. The ball is nowhere near spherical or symmetrical; it has an oblong shape and lumps and bumps all over the place. Then Mark tells you the rules.

It’s a simple game, really. Only a few rules. 1. Keep the ball in the air. So you have to keep hitting it up with any body part, as long as you don’t hold onto it, and the ball never hits the ground. 2. You have to count out loud every time someone hits the ball. 3. You cannot, absolutely positively can not EVER say “Sorry”. If you do, you are forced to stick your bum up in the air, and another castmate will throw it as hard as they please at your derriere in punishment.

These are the rules, and the game is age-old and legendary in the Theatre Department. If you make it (you lucky Bronco you) to one of the highest numbers of the ball being hit into the air, you make it on Mark’s office door as a tape ball champion: Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

So back to this morning. Gloomy Gus rehearsal was coming to a close, and Mark said it was time to play tape ball. We began, as any normal tape ball game may begin, with a few fumbles and making it only to 12 or 13. And then…something magic happened. The ball went up, and the ball stayed up. Every cast member was shouting out the numbers as if the only thing that mattered in the whole world was keeping this ball in the air. There was bumping, setting, kicking, and anything in between. The lunges, the dives, the focus, and you could’ve touched the energy it was so tangible. We thought and moved as an ensemble, no individuals but just group mentality. We passed 30…50…75…100…150!…and just past 180, the ball finally fell on the ground for the first time.

VICTORY WAS OURS! We had succeeded the highest score ever, achieved by the cast of Dracula all the way back in 2007! The whole room erupted with screams and laughter and maybe even a few tears. One of our cast mates got so excited, she almost threw up. There was dancing and then someone started singing the WMU Fight Song. The whole cast joined in, and the room was full of Bronco pride and still a lot of screaming and jumping around and absolutely ferocious hugging.

And that’s how the cookie crumbled, Broncos. It’s a day that will go in the history books…forever.

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