Pictures: Playing ball, scholars got their sweat on

There was a harsh tone among the players on the pitch on this Friday afternoon in May, when researchers from three BSS departments faced off to win the legendary battle of the Golden Ball.

2014.05.15 | Nina Hermansen

The sun was shining, the bangers were crisp, and the researchers were sweating. This is what the football match between the researchers from the Department of Political Science and Government, the Department of Economics and Business and the Department of Law can be boiled down to. It was the second year in a row that these well-read scholars decided to put on their tight-fitting polyester outfits and show off their mad football skills.

To put it nicely, it’s probably a good thing that it’s not their performance on a football pitch that determines how much they bring home in terms of research grants.

In the days leading up to the battle, there was a lot of gossiping in the corridors. Which team was better prepared? Who had practised their passing skills and developed a bulletproof strategy? Last year, the political scientists won the trophy, and this year the other teams were more than ready for a rematch showdown. To add to the excitement, the economists had also announced their participation – a joker in the game, the unknown factor. What do economists know about football anyway?

Semifinal settled by penalty shootout

The whole thing took place at the football pitch at Skovvangsskolen, where a lot of lazy students and supportive colleagues had shown up to lounge in the afternoon sun. The players had their nerves on their sleeves. Beer was wagered. They yelled. They mocked.

And cheating or no cheating, Political Science had brought two teams of seven players, while the economists and the lawyers only put out one team each. There were two semifinals, followed by the crucial final match. And let it be said at once: the Golden Ball – the trophy – remains in place in the lunch room at the Department of Political Science and Government.

In the first semifinal, the IFSK1 team were up against the economists, who clearly weren’t able to punch through the political scientists’ rock-hard line-up. Despite the fact that they wore outfits that made them resemble the Dutch national team, the newcomers from the Department of Economics and Business came no where close to beating the bright-blue researchers from Political Science. The team captain Derek Beach aggressively incited his players to fight hard. And the match ended 5-2.

In the second semifinal, the lawyers seemed to be more in the zone and ready to challenge the IFSK2 team. Several of the young PhD students from Law bared their teeth, but little did it help. After the regular time had run out and the five minutes of extended playing time was played, the players had to go through a penalty shootout to settle the score. And here, to great cheers, the political scientists got the long end of the stick.

The right to ridicule

The final match was between the close colleagues from Political Science, who both fought bravely – but in the end, the bright-blue political scientist won the game. The final score was 3-1.

Derek Beach lifted the champagne bottle above his head and poured golden bubbles all over his team mates.

“It was our awesome teamwork that made all the difference. And the fact that we won against the other team from Political Science only makes the victory all the more sweet. We now have the right to ridicule,” said the team captain, who was not willing to let anything slip about how the team was planning to celebrate their grand victory.