One of the goals of Alumnilive 365 is to introduce voices from the broader McGill community. This blog post is from a New York based McGill parent, Steve Cohen, whose son, Ben is the player-coach of the McGill Quidditch team which competed in the Quidditch World Cup recently held in New York.
Ah, University life! Let’s put aside our studies, ride a bus 7 hours through the night to New York City, to play in the Quidditch World Cup starting at 9:30 the next morning. Why not?
And so it was — Benjamin Cohen, our son, class of ‘12 and coach of the McGill Quidditch Team and more than 30 Quidditch teammates and friends, rolled off a bus into DeWitt Clinton park in New York to join 45 other university teams from around the world in the 4th Annual Quidditch World Cup, November 13 and 14. The team appeared well rested from the bus ride as they prepared for their Round 1 match against Villanova University.
McGill lost its first game to Villanova in overtime, but then went on to win 7 in a row with very impressive point differentials. The McGillians went through to the single-elimination round and kept winning convincingly until they ran into Villanova again in the semi’s. Lost again, again in overtime, on a disputed call. The crowd thought Plunger captured the snitch and began cheering, but the ref ruled the Plunger had been bludgeoned and the game continued. Villanova then snatched the snitch on the pitch. Tournament over for McGill: 7 wins, 2 losses.
Final standing: McGill ended the tournament 12th of 46 teams and the winner of the Tournament Sportsmanship Award. They beat Harvard soundly, so perhaps that alone made the trip worthwhile. In the final match, Middlebury defended its World Cup title successfully against — you guessed it — Villanova. Back on the bus to Montreal, one win short of the finals.
As a parent, the real thrill was seeing the McGill team work together, have great fun, treat each other with genuine respect and affection and take wins and losses with equal satisfaction of a job well done.
As a spectator, I’ve got to say, Quidditch is a gas! Watch out for that Quaffle!
Ed note: In addition to parents and other interested onlookers, the media has picked up on the Quidditch craze as well. Here’s a round-up of some of the more interesting pieces:
QUIDDITCH SOARING ON CAMPUS – Members of McGill University’s Quidditch team, talk about the rising popularity of the game taken from the Harry Potter movies. Recently the school participated in the fourth World Cup of Quidditch in New York City.
QUIDDITCH EN CAMPUS - Le Quidditch n’est plus uniquement un sport fictif pratiqué par les étudiants de l’école de Poudlard, dans le monde d’Harry Potter. Le week-end dernier, une soixantaine d’équipes universitaires du Canada et des États-Unis étaient réunies à New York pour la Coupe du monde de Quidditch. L’équipe de l’Université McGill, qui regroupe des étudiants de toutes disciplines, s’est classée au 12e rang, après avoir éliminé les universités Carleton, Purdue et Harvard. Dans cette version pour les non-magiciens, à défaut de voler, les étudiants courent en chevauchant leur balai. À quelques jours de la sortie de l’avant-dernier film de la série des Harry Potter, Tanya Lapointe a rencontré des adeptes de Quidditch.
WORLD CUP QUIDDITCH – The fourth annual Quidditch World Cup came to an exciting end yesterday in New York City, as the top 24 teams from Saturday progressed into single-elimination bracket play. Middlebury came out on top, followed by Tufts. McGill’s team, while not winning the cup, won a sportsmanship award, the “Manshel award”. They placed in the top 16 out of about 46 teams. According to one source, McGill celebrated winning the sportsmanship award by leading the crowd in “O, Canada”.