The only football that Emerson College normally sees is on Sunday and Monday nights on television. But with students growing more eager to actually play the game, they have taken the problem, or the pigskin, into their own hands.
The Emerson Underground Football League (EUFL) is an informal league set up by some of the college's students.,The only football that Emerson College normally sees is on Sunday and Monday nights on television. But with students growing more eager to actually play the game, they have taken the problem, or the pigskin, into their own hands.
The Emerson Underground Football League (EUFL) is an informal league set up by some of the college's students. Founded by junior Erik Osterholm two years ago, the league is still under most people's radar.
Jordan Rudman, a sophomore film major, said the league was formed out of necessity. "There was just a bunch of kids who wanted to play football and we don't have a football team at Emerson," he said. "So we just started having get togethers in the Common."
Players meet in the baseball field and casually throw a football around. Eventually, games of eight on eight may ensue as more kids show up.
The group attempts to meet on Sundays at 3 p.m., but the league finds it tough to get a consistent number of students to play.
Rudman agrees that this is the major problem of the league but says some days it's easier to find players because students from surrounding Boston schools join in.
"We've had games where we'll bump into kids from BU and we'll play with them," Rudman said. "Other kids will be out playing on the Common, but I have friends that go to Northeastern that will come and play. We'll just call them up and tell them if we're playing or not."
Ideally, members of the league would like to see it grow as Emerson's wiffle ball league did. That league is able to attract a consistent group of players to come out each week. Rudman said he was baffled as to how the wiffle ball league gathers so much support.
"I don't know how they do it, but wiffle ball gets people to show up every weekend," he said. "Football is a little rougher, more hardcore, but I think if we had the organization, people would show up."
Junior Tony Aiuvalasit agrees that the EUFL has a commitment problem with its players.
He hopes to see the league expand in future years, even after he leaves.
He stressed how much fun the league is.
"It's a different level of play," he said. "We love to play, we love to hit, and we love to tackle. We're just out there to have fun."
Aiuvalasit said it was also a great way to meet people. "Some of my closest friends today I've met through playing football."
While the formation of the league has come at a time when the college is investing more and more in athletics, Aiuvalasit was quick to point out that the league was not intended for one type of person.
"This league was made for kids who had fun in high school playing sports and who wish to continue to have fun playing sports. I don't consider myself an athlete by any standards. It's for people with similar interest to come together and have fun."
Regardless of their other interests, the group tries to play year round, including the winter.
According to Rudman, that can make the game a little more interesting. "We played on snow and ice last year," he said. "That game was pretty ridiculous. We had people just running where every other play was a touchdown because people were getting tossed around in the snow. It's a lot of fun."
The EUFL has a Facebook group bearing its name and Aiuvalasit said he hopes the site will help in drawing new players.
"It's more fun when more kids play," he said.
Women are also encouraged to play, even with the tackling. As of right now, there is one woman who plays regularly.
"She plays tackle with us too," Aiuvalasit said. "No one really guards her so she just stands in the end zone and we throw it to her for a touchdown."