The Eighth Page

Phillipian Satire: Bullying the Football Team

An open letter from your QB1:

Four years ago, when I said yes to Exeter, I never expected to write anything like this. However, as a proud football player, student-athlete, and Exonian, I feel that it is my duty to share this story. This past season has been torture for me, but it’s not our losing record or the empty stadium on every gameday that’s got me down: it’s the constant bullying.

For the past four years, I’ve experienced harassment of every sort all because of my passion for football. I know my teammates feel the same. First, during my freshman year, I was alienated for my poor placement in the mandatory ninth-grade chess tournament. Somehow, I was the only new student who had never heard of the “Polish Variation.” This misfortune cost me my place at the Harkness table in the dining hall, and thus excluded me from productive discussion at lunchtime for the rest of the term. My social life was ruined.

Then, when it became known that I hadn’t taken calculus in sixth grade, I was blitzed with a million hurtful nicknames, from “Prom King” to “Big Man on Campus.” Eventually, these bullies took to physical abuse. Even today, I flinch at the sound of Heelys approaching from behind, the snap of suspenders, and those fateful words: “How’s Physics-400, ‘QB1’? Shoot any home runs today? Ha ha.” Then, as I turn to face my assailant, an onslaught of Rubik’s cubes, Legos, and chess pieces strike my chiseled torso from all angles. Today, it seems that this gang of ruthless academics have fashioned a booby-trap. Of course, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.

This past month, when I announced my commitment to the University of Michigan, I was ostracized for settling for a non-target college, much less a state-school, and banished from the robotics lab once and for all. During this ridicule, I was repeatedly reassured that this was the “best I could do” followed by a cackle that can only be described as a biochem major, MIT-bound cackle.

As you can probably see, I have been truly hurt by these experiences. Unfortunately, there are so many more. Most were too graphic for publication. However, I have mostly been surprised. I am athletic and handsome, ambitious and smart. I match up to and exceed male-beauty standards and societal norms in every way, minus my passion for music production. Still, I must endure this torture?