As sports have gained popularity and importance in society, watching sports has gone from a casual, passive form of entertainment to an obsession that plays a central role in the day-to-day mood of countless fans. We pour immense amounts of energy into rooting for our teams and hating others, and our enormous emotional investment in the fortunes of teams we have no direct connection to can seem irrational and ridiculous when looked at from a non-fan’s perspective.

The Jeffs had an enormously successful weekend at Boston Univ.’s Valentine Invitational, with 26 of 29 entries resulting in personal records. They faced stiff competition, as they raced against a number of Div. I teams.

Placing 11th overall, senior Ben Scheetz was the top Div. III finisher in the mile. He bested his own personal record by 11 seconds and was just .6 seconds off the school record, running 4:03.95. Pat Grimes ’13 was the next Jeff to finish the mile, placing 44th in the field of 244 with a time of 4:12.57. Andrew Erskine ’13 finished 19th of 73 in the 5k.

With a gritty 3-1 win over Bowdoin this weekend, the men’s hockey team has skated to the cusp of its first regular season NESCAC championship in three years.

With the postseason looming on the horizon, the sixth-ranked men’s basketball team continues to make adjustments and build confidence for the final stretch of the season. In addition, the past few weeks have tested the Jeffs’ composure against enemy crowds, as seven of their last eight games have come on the road. The last two trips took place over the last week, as Amherst went up against conference foes Bates and Tufts on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Feb. 3, 2008. As America watched, the New York Giants accomplished the unthinkable. Making the vaunted Patriots offense — the same offense that had put together the best season in NFL history — look decidedly average, the Giants defense gave Eli Manning, then regarded as overrated, a chance late in the fourth quarter. The rest is history. The biggest pro sports upset in recent memory left quite a psychological mark on a — dare I admit it? — entitled Boston fan base fresh off three championships in four years.

While an 8-1 loss to No. 12 Middlebury evoked shades of a similarly feeble performance earlier in the season, the men’s squash team managed to put together a solid weekend of play, finishing 3-1 and earning fifth place at the NESCAC Championships.

Although they’ve already played 22 regular season games, traveled to Las Vegas and back, won by 70 points in a single game and had two players eclipse the 1000-point barrier, the women’s basketball season is far from over.

And, even though they haven’t lost a game since Jan. 11, 2011 (41 games) or at home since Jan. 31, 2009 (58 games), this team’s success will be measured by what starts now. With two home games remaining before the NESCAC and NCAA tournaments, the Jeffs are about to see what they are really made of.

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