omphalos \OM-fuh-luhs\, noun:
1. The central point.
2. The navel; umbilicus.
3. Greek Antiquity. A stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, thought to mark the center of the earth.
For a brief, shining moment this afternoon, the omphalos moved from Delphi to the grassy expanse between Confer and Fine Arts, as the Classics and Philosophy departments squared off for the fifth annual Kickball Smackdown. While pregame taunts had reached something of a fever pitch, the game itself was a model of genteel sporting behavior. The only casualty occurred when Drew Ajer smacked Krystal Bundy with the ball, and we’re pretty sure that isn’t because Drew was irritated that Krystal, a Classics/Philosophy double major, had yet again this year decided to play for Classics.
The philosophers outdid themselves this year by sort of producing something approaching matching tee shirts. But because we are a discipline that prides itself on debate and disagreement, each shirt pretty much said whatever its wearer wanted it to say. But a lot of them were white.
The wind did quite a number on the ball, carrying many a fair kick into foul territory, and keeping everyone on their toes.
The score, you ask? Honestly, were it not for the fact that some money rides on this, I wouldn’t even confess that, yes, the Philosophy department again won. 15-8. The game was as close as 6-5. And did I mention how incredibly witty the gameside banter was? At one point, a member of the Classics team (continuing the horsey theme that characterized this year’s pregame season) was heard to announce “Our whole team is kind of like Sea Biscuit.”
Thanks, Classics, for being such great neighbors and such great and sporting opponents!