It was beautiful. It was historic. It was magical.
But that’s not to say there weren’t ugly moments.
I’m not talking about the rain — that part made it the most fun. I’m also not talking about the crashes, which are bound to happen in any 200-lap race.
I’m talking about the moment the Cutters took the podium, only to be booed by the remaining fans, most of whom were part of the greek system.
I don’t blame them. All they saw were the reviled Cutters, the team people love to hate, claiming the title for the fourth consecutive year. They couldn’t possibly understand.
They didn’t see what I saw.
That day, behind the podium where the Cutters accepted their first-place trophy, there was another scene going on.
IU Student Foundation members were preventing teams not in the top three from having their chance to stand on the podium.
The reason? Race officials wanted to start breaking down the race equipment in the infield before the rain got heavier.
Among the teams being denied their rightful place on the podium were Beta Theta Pi, Gray Goat Cycling and Sigma Chi.
A police officer barred entry to the podium. Then, just as it seemed the teams would not get their moment, the Cutters stepped in.
Clayton Feldman, team leader, walked right past the officer and called down to the other riders.
“You’re all on our team,” he said. “Get up here.”
There are a lot of people that feel animosity toward the Cutters.
They are loathed for being a good team. They are hated for being “cocky.” They are disrespected because they aren’t greek — as are many other teams. The same can also be said for fans of independent teams and their feelings toward greek teams.
The only ones that don’t seem to fall into that mindset are the riders themselves. They respect each other. They love each other. After all, when one rider goes down, it usually means a couple more go with him.
A rider once described the major difference between cycling and a sport like basketball.
In basketball, there is one winner and one loser in each game. In a race like the Little 500, there is one winner and 32 losers.
However, that moment on Saturday, it was hard to say who won and who lost.
So to those of you who booed the Cutters, to those of you who didn’t see the scene behind that podium, to those of you who think this race is us versus them, I have one question.
What do you think of the Cutters now?
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