The Rope’ ensures team unity

by Seth Nailor

Imagine that you are hanging off the side of a cliff with a drop of 20,000 feet. The only thing between you and the fall to death is a rope, with the person of your choice at the other end. Who do you know that has the guts to pull you to safety? Who will hold the rope?

That excerpt from a piece of literature, written by Yvette Gironard, the University of Southwest Louisiana fast pitch softball coach, has become the motto of this years’ Simpson College men’s basketball team.

To start the season, each Simpson player received that excerpt explaining the concept of “holding the rope” and an actual piece of rope that doubles as a visual aide and a jump rope.

So what does Head Coach Bruce Wilson hope to accomplish with this motivational tactic?

“Well I think it’s always that you try to get some sort of motivational thing which gets guys to focus on what is important,” said Wilson.

The catchy saying has also caught on with some very enthusiastic fans. Simpson College seniors Tom Tesar and Jason Niggemeyer have been in attendance at several Simpson College home games sporting a rope of their own.

Tesar and Niggemeyer first heard of the motto from their roommates, Storm senior Jesse Harris and junior Matt McCulla.

Niggemeyer and Tesar have brought a very large rope to the games and draped it on and around fans in the student section to help support Simpson in the Iowa Conference.

Tesar and Niggemeyer aren’t shy to claim responsibility for Simpson’s early season fortune. “Only one loss has been suffered at home when the rope was there,” said Tesar, of Simpson’s 6-2 home record this season.

Niggemeyer feels somewhat stronger about how important he feels the rope is to Simpson’s success, stating that, “obviously the rope has mystical powers.”

Tesar and Niggemeyer are both former members of the Simpson basketball squad and still feel very close to the team. When talking about the rope, Tesar commented on one reason why they bring the rope to the games. “I think it makes us feel apart of the team.”

Their relationship with the team has shown, and McCulla appreciates his roommate’s enthusiasm. McCulla expressed how it is important that the fans get into the game so that the team can know that they are behind them.

“The fans are just as important as the team, everybody has got to hold the rope,” said McCulla.

Coach Wilson also likes what he sees out of his former players that continue to support Storm basketball.

“I think it’s awesome – anything that we can get to help remind our guys about holding the rope,” said Wilson. “Because I think it is a fantastic image for our basketball team in which you’ve got to have a lot of people contributing to the success of the team.”

When asked about Tesar and Niggemeyer’s claims to being the key to the team’s success at home Wilson only questioned why they haven’t been bringing the rope on the road.

One thing is for sure Tesar and Niggemeyer are trying to hold the rope for the Storm this season.