Ehiogu Bede Justin 
The Philosophy male team looms as high as Everest over this annual competition; five times now – in a row – they have won it. And this begs the question: Are the rest not good enough? Or is Philosophy just a darn sight better than them?

The green-and-white outfit started their streak in 2013. Since then they have remarkably retained the trophy, shaking off competition in the likes of English, Linguistics, and Theatre Arts; and also bagged the Super Cup four times. And this is not just because they have been lucky. Undeniably, luck is part of football; as Philosophy’s prolific forward, Victor Chima put it in an interview with AFAS Press: ‘…in football we acknowledge the grace and role of luck…’ but surely it is crystal clear – even to the most sceptic opponent – that they have not succeeded in the last five years by luck alone. They are an exciting outfit – by our standards – and for that they have been, in recent years, the most successful. Whether they are the best is a different question.

There is clearly the matter of how poor and/or how inconsistent other sides have been. English put a halt to Philosophy’s juggernaut in 2017, stealing the Super Cup under their noses: Philosophy beat them in that competition and it seemed as though they would win it again, but English prevailed through goal difference after a 6-1 demolition of History in the final game. By winning that cup, and having beaten Philosophy in the opening game of the 2016 Dean’s Cup, and forcing them to penalties in the final, English proved themselves a massive side in the faculty, one to reckon with; but it seems they went to sleep after that cup victory and have not quite woken up yet. 

At the last edition of the Dean’s Cup, Linguistics did the same thing English did – they beat Philosophy at the opening game, but lost to them on penalties in the final. And what a game it was; after having gone two-nil down, they equalised, and could make a case for themselves as having been unlucky not to eventually win. At any rate, they lost, to Philosophy – as many other sides in the faculty have in the past five years. To prove their ascendancy over Linguistics, and indeed the faculty’s male football teams, they overpowered them in a convincing 4-0 win in the subsequent Super Cup, eventually winning the trophy. Theatre Arts is not far-off. They have proven themselves a thorn in Philosophy’s side in the past few years, but ultimately, they have not been able to win anything.

Chima crystallised the thoughts of myself and many by also saying that ‘the teams you’ve played with in the past are no longer the same because of the inclusion of the freshmen…’ and that ‘…even the champions do have bad days.’ He did not mention the graduation of key players weakening some sides. English for instance were tremendously weakened by the graduation of midfield lynchpin, Kenneth. This is no excuse of course; Philosophy have had the departure of key players as well. 

The bottom line is that other departments have to work hard to improve their teams, and mount a significant challenge for the trophy. After all, nothing would be drearier than to rename the competition the Philosophy Cup. 

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