The prototypical chaser. - Joel Auerbach
The Buckeye Quidditch program has fallen on tough times. Here we attempt to revitalize one of the university's hidden treasures.
After another dreadful performance on the basketball court, a few Ohio State students have understandably turned their attention to the Quidditch pitch, where hope springs eternal. There are compelling reasons to believe that the Buckeyes will capture Ohio Cup III this season: Madam Hooch has the consensus No. 1 recruiting class inbound to Columbus, legendary booster Mundungus Fletcher recently donated seven brand spanking new Firebolts to the squad, and the starting lineup is laden with upperclassmen who led the team to a World Cup berth last year and admirably eschewed the temptation to go pro.
Despite the team’s brief history, Ohio State has developed into a Quidditch powerhouse. The Buckeyes consistently rank atop the Land-Grant Holy Land and Daily Prophet polls, and Quidditch GameDay has broadcasted live from Columbus several times, all of which ended in Lee Jordan donning Brutus headgear. Widely regarded as a beacon of integrity (especially compared to those Death Eaters in Ann Arbor), they are positive ambassadors of the university.
Unfortunately, Buckeye Quidditch has yet to garner mainstream interest. Ticket sales are down, and the rumor mill is churning out reports that Gene Smith may disband the team next year, when their lease of the luxury suite-less Fred Beekman Park expires. Of course, it doesn’t take a doctor to diagnose the main problem here – Ohio State’s most recognizable athletes are playing other sports. Until the Braxton Millers of the wizarding world gravitate towards Quidditch, revenue and TV ratings will remain low.
In the meantime, let’s imagine a utopia in which Quidditch is the most profitable and resonant game around. "Be Like Krum" posters flood dorms from North Campus to South Campus; hooky-players toss around a Quaffle on the Oval instead of a Frisbee; everyone follows Rita Skeeter on Twitter for breaking news and recruiting updates. Who then, among current Buckeye athletes, would comprise the roster?
A burning question, indeed! For the Quidditch-illiterate, please watch this explanatory video courtesy of the fine folks at Buckeye TV.
OK, now brace yourself for an onslaught of #HOT #QUIDDITCH #TAKES.
Seeker: Devin Smith
Smith’s elite ball skills will translate seamlessly to Quidditch. He has a knack for one-handed grabs, a vital quality for seekers wishing to remain on their broomsticks when going for the snitch. Also, according to team sources, Smith is a duplicitous, crafty individual, making him the perfect player to pull off the notorious Wronski feint.
Beaters: Evan Ravenel, Peter Kobelt
Ravenel plays like a basketball version of Rudy Ruetigger, which is to say that he always goes up a little too hard with the ball, often to his detriment. However, this trait will serve him well on the Quidditch pitch. E-Rav was designed for beater, a position that demands one to possess an unlimited supply of energy and hit Bludgers at unsuspecting members of the opposing team.
As for Kobelt, I bet you weren’t expecting me to select a Buckeye tennis player! That’s fine. When it comes to building a Quidditch team, yours truly is an equal opportunity employer. Based on the tennis film I pored over, Kobelt has tremendous upside, displaying all the potential of Fred Weasley circa 1993. There, I said it.
Being the only reliable scorer on the basketball team, DT is a no-brainer at chaser. Some call him the second coming of Alicia Spinnet, but I call him the first DeShaun Thomas. Still, I’d be remiss not to mention his colossal ego. While he has all the talent in the world, DT occasionally suffers from MFGBS (me-first glory boy syndrome) and therefore may fit better with the Chudley Cannons.
Due to Cardale’s well-documented beef with academia, I put him on the OSU Quidditch team out of the goodness of my heart. The minimum GPA to play is among the most stringent in college athletics; moreover, Madam Hooch’s unwritten rule requires players to pass their O.W.L.’s if they want to start. These standards will ensure a diploma for the man who "[didn’t] come here to play school."
Finally, I know Bauserman is no longer enrolled at Ohio State (he’s now pursuing a graduate degree in transfiguration at Hogwarts), but he is such a prototypical chaser that I sometimes think John Brenkus constructed him in the Sports Science lab. Unlike football, where overthrowing a receiver will land you on the bench, it is impossible to overthrow the Quaffle. Just consider Bauserman’s upside!
Keeper: Bradley Roby
Per Big Ten scouts and his girlfriend, Roby has elite hands, so if you think the Quaffle is getting by him, think again. Big Ten Network analyst Marcus Flint has grudgingly called Roby "the next Oliver Wood"; meanwhile, Roby says he’ll only join the team if Kerry Coombs joins Hooch’s staff in some capacity. That shouldn’t be an issue – Hooch loves juice.