Under the schoolyard lights, neon and black jerseys sprint the length of the field. A chant of “fear the shell” echoes from the stands, and camaraderie is evident. Play by play, the Goodfellas overpower the Sea Turtles, intercepting quarterback Cammeron Neely multiple times early on. Yet, the Sea Turtles — and their enthusiastic fans — don’t back down. As play continues, shouts from the sidelines cut through the Phoenix night. “We need shorts!”
The Intramural Flag Football Championship, in which the No. 1 Sea Turtles battled the reigning champs, the Goodfellas, featured the invasion of the Twitterverse through hashtags on signs and jerseys and “The Great Shorts Conspiracy.”
After ripping his shorts during the semifinal game earlier in the night, Neely played most of the first half of the championship game with his shorts torn to shreds. At one point, the scorekeepers had to tape the offending fabric directly to Neely. A frantic search for extra shorts began on the sidelines. Luckily for the Sea Turtles, a fan was able to dash back to Taylor Place and save everyone Neely’s pants falling completely off.
With a few minutes left, the Goodfellas looked like they secured another win, leading the game 19-0, but the Sea Turtles still had some power in them, scoring two touchdowns within the last two minutes. However, it was not enough to defeat the Goodfellas, who claimed their second championship in a row, with a final score of 19-12.
The “Great Shorts Conspiracy” might live on with fans, but the quarterbacks for both teams think otherwise.
“I think it was my four to five interceptions that did it,” Neely said. “I was just bad.”
Tony Aguilera, quarterback for the Goodfellas, credits his defense for the win.
“I might be quarterback, but I respect the D,” Aguilera said.
As for next year, both teams are looking to once again face off.
“It’s them and us in this,” Neely said. “If these guys graduate, we’ll win.”
Aguilera, a senior, on the other hand won’t say that their graduating players are done.
“Alumni can play, so we’re all back,” he said.
Until then, the conspiracy lives.