APSU’s campus was covered in mud on Sunday, Oct. 2. Not from the demolition of Cross, Killebrew and Rawlins, but because of the 10th annual Mudbowl.
The goal is simple: beat the other team in a game of volleyball. The first team to six points wins.
The tricky part is to play while standing in a pool full of mud, with depths up to a foot deep. There were many face plants, accidental falls and plenty of action on the intramural field.
There were 65 teams signed up to play. The teams were as diverse as the student life on campus. Some teams were composed of all freshmen, others had members of fraternities and sororities and some were just friends who came together to simply have fun.
There were three brackets: women, men and co-ed.
The winning women’s team, Serving SNAPSUs, were undefeated. In the end, it came down to Serving SNAPSUs and My, My Little ADPi, who also won every game they played.
The winning men’s team, Sigma Chi Gold, lost their first game, putting them in the loser’s bracket. They made a comeback, winning every game after that. The final match featured them against Sigma Chi Blue.
The winning co-ed team was the Muddlers. It was comprised of six freshmen, including who just wanted to be part of the fun. The Mudders started the same way as Sigma Chi Gold did, losing their first game against The Dream Team.
“We got stomped our first game, 0-6, but then we won the rest. The best part of the game is that we beat the team that put us in the loser’s bracket,” said freshman Dallas Crafton.
“This is something different, something not normal,” said John Ohrt. “It’s something you don’t see every day.”
Many students participated just to get down and dirty. Lora Adkins, a senior and a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, had a smile caked with mud. “I really enjoy getting dirty, but the worst part, is getting stuck,” Adkins said.
Participants in the Mudbowl were not the only ones getting dirty, spectators were dirty as well. There is something irresistible about being in a field of mud that drives the game and attracts spectators.
Even parents were a part of the event. Rebecca Tiger, an APSU parent, came to watch her son play. While she has never participated in the game, she has done her share of laundry from previous years, when her son has played or been present.
“This is the first one I’ve been to and it’s kind of exciting. The Mudbowl gets people to interact. College shouldn’t always have to be serious. Parents should want to support their students, even when it’s muddy,” Tiger said.
Another unique aspect of the Mudbowl was the outfits. Every year, there are a variety of eye-catching outfits.
This year there was a team composed of superheroes, AP Heroes: Batman, Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, Superman, Captain America, Flash and Mr. Fantastic were all on one team.
Everyone expects a lot out of superheroes, but this team had an excuse for not winning.
“We only lost because we’re tired and we have to save the world all the time. We didn’t have the energy to do this. I mean, at 6 o’clock, I have to go save an old lady from a fire,” said Frank Baker, also known as Flash from AP Heroes.
Mudbowl is about more than just getting dirty or wearing wacky outfits. It is a way of bringing together students and creating memories. It brings students from home and encourages them to interact with other students, who they might not already see on a regular basis.
Tray Turner, an APSU Alumni, has seen several games, and even participated in three, including this year.
“When it comes to thinking about the actual games, they might be talked about maybe a week, but looking back, some of my best memories are from participating in the Mudbowl,” Turner said.
While Turner has thoroughly enjoyed his experiences, he does believe things could be changed to make it even better. His complaints were about how strictly the rules were enforced, such as no running after other people and guarding the mud pool after the tournaments end.
“I should be able to run, and students should be allowed to get in the pool of mud, even if they aren’t playing, just to have the experience,” Turner said.
Thanks to sponsor SGA and co-sponsors The Co-Op, CiCi’s Pizza and The Gilroy, this year’s Mudbowl had a big turnout. The campus may be a little dirty for the next week or two, but this year’s winners are already counting down the days until next year’s game.
“We are definitely playing again next year, and we’ll probably be the exact same team,” Tobien said. TAS