For the first time in over 40 years, Drexel University has a Division I football team.
The catch? The team’s roster consists entirely of some of the least athletic people on Drexel’s campus: members of the improvisational comedy club.
Since 2005, Drexel’s student-run improv group has gone by the moniker of the “Drexel Football Team,” a not so subtle jab at the University’s absence of a team for America’s most popular sport. But now the amateur comedians will be putting down the props and picking up the pads.
“This was the only way for us to get a football team back at Drexel, something our students have wanted for years,” a representative from Drexel Athletics said. “I hope you are all happy.”
The team is excited by the opportunity, despite most of the players being apathetic to sports and having little to no football experience. The team is led by 5 feet 6 inches tall quarterback Mark S. Mariyoda, a senior who has been with the improv club for three years.
“I am prepared to lead my teammates and do whatever it takes to win on the field, despite literally never having thrown a football in my life,” Mariyoda said. “We have done some skits about football, but we always used an imaginary ball.”
Other key contributors include junior running back Shaun “Sunny” McCoy, who ran a blistering 8.6 second 40-yard-dash at the quad. The defensive line duo of Sam “Too Small” Jones and Bill “The Mini-Fridge” Perry looks to get a sack. Then lastly, sophomore placekicker Gwen “The Leg” Robertson, the first woman to ever play Division I college football.
“I played soccer once when I was five, so I guess that qualifies me to break down the gender barrier in college sports,” Robertson said.
The team will be helmed by head coach Rural Meyer, a 37-year-old floundering stand-up comedian who teaches improv classes at the local comedy club for $30 a session. Meyer was forced by his parents to play freshman football in high school but quit after they didn’t come to any of his games.
“First of all, we aren’t going to be running any plays, we will be taking suggestions from the crowd and going from there,” Meyer said.
Despite Meyer’s unconventional style, the team believes in their coach and has high hopes for the upcoming season, which kicks off in September against the rival University of Pennsylvania Quakers.
“Our goal is to go out there and do our best, and of course, make people laugh,” Jason Thomas, a 152-pound left tackle, said.
“Yes, and …,” a teammate replied.