Football? Oh yeah, we have one of those teams. Varsity sports are a great way to get involved on campus, and most teams welcome walk-ons and first-timers. The upside is that you don't have to sign your life away to play on a varsity sport; the downside is that our final records can be a bit dismal. That's not to say that our small pockets of fans aren't as die-hard as the crowds at some of big-name schools—there's just not quite so many of them. A handmade Earlham Quaker flag (designed in the style of the Japanese war flag, with a headshot of the Quaker Oats dude in the center) often billows on the side of the lacrosse field in the spring as the core group hoots and hollers and bangs on drums. Once you get them going, the fans can be better entertainment than the players. With a mascot like the Hustling Quaker, you've got to get creative. Cheers help evoke a dose of competitiveness to counteract that Quakerly spirit of cooperation and pacifism: "Fight! Fight! Inner light! Kill, Quakers, Kill! Knock `em down, beat `em senseless! Do it till we reach consensus!" Soccer and basketball draw the biggest crowds, but don't get your expectations up—"bigger" is just relative.
For those students who aren't interested in going varsity but still want to play some ball with the buds, there are always intramurals. People of all abilities get really pumped up about the latest developments in the IM tourney, and the league has even given rise to a collection of small team subcultures.