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  • Jayce Bertrand

Doping, Sex, Murder: The Many Scandals of the Spikeball Hawkeyes

people playing spikeball

In recent years, spikeball has risen to the forefront of college sports. As more and more students are coming to realize that by playing for at least fifteen minutes a day, they could legally consider themselves “athletes”.

In 2022 alone, college spikeball garnered a staggering $15 trillion in revenue, a 30% increase from 2021. Furthermore, $3 billion in annual scholarships have been awarded to this rising class of spikeball athletes. Last year, 10.2 billion people admitted to playing spikeball at least once a day (the statistic came to me in a dream).

With the popularity of spikeball exploding in just a few short years, it was a matter of time until the NCAA decided to take advantage of the situation, and that is exactly what they did. Late June of 2022: Ohio State became the first college to announce an official spikeball team, and that opened the floodgates for every other major university. Founded in July of last year, the Spikeball Hawkeyes have risen to the forefront of the College Spikeball League, pulling themselves into the final four of this year’s tournament.

As the greatest writer working with the Doily Allergen, I had the foresight to follow the Hawkeyes during what would be their last weeks of the season, interviewing them and getting an insight into the real players. However, I would have never anticipated the world I would be brought into, and the scandals that threatened the careers of everyone involved, even my own.

Compared to other sports, spikeball has a fairly short season—only eight weeks. There is no official start date, as games begin with the first sign of newly-budding leaves, which leads to there being a discrepancy as to when a season begins and ends relative to geography (The University of Southern California has been playing in the same season for three years). The Hawkeyes started their season the first week of March, though Spikeleader Augustanian Glee claims to have been practicing since mid-November, even through subzero temperatures.

As I watched the team set up their net,their underhanded tactics began to become clear to me. It turns out that the trees had not yet sprouted, and instead Second Bouncer Jillenial Sauce had been painting the ends of branches with green paint. I could ignore this, though, as I have never looked down upon doing your best to win, even if it means being less than honest.

I have to admire their dedication to the craft as well. First Bouncer Clydeclam Nolng superglued his fingers together in order to shape his hands into an organic paddle. Glee ran drills to make the team tougher, lining each member up and punching them in the face. Diver Willace Eek had his jaw broken, but refused to seek any medical attention until he reached 15 perfect saves. When asked to take his own punch to the face, Glee got nervous and had to be calmed down by his mom, who was waiting in the parking lot with a bag of Pocky.

I regret to say that the first practice was the last time anything felt normal. The team invited me to spend the weekend with them at their “house,” which turned out to be an attic that an emotionless Sicillian man named Giuseppe Volantairanous had been renting out to them. I agreed. That night, I tried my best to get some sleep, but the opossums that co-signed for the attic took my blanket and it was really cold. A few hours into the night, I heard moaning, and to my shock, I discovered Glee and Sauce engaging in sexual acts, including Sauce doing this pull-tug-squeeze-scratch motion that I need to look up later. It is worth pointing out that Sauce is the fiancee of Nolng, a devout Scientologist.

It all went downhill from there. As the best journalist working for the University of Iowa’s only news source ever, it was my responsibility to reveal the truth; I reveal Sauce’s treachery to Nolng over breakfast, which consisted of Volantairanous’ leftover manicotti and some quail eggs the opossums managed to gather up. Nolng didn’t talk for the rest of the day, explaining (in writing) that he was undergoing a Scientology ritual called “Inner Shout,” which consisted of him breathing in and out rapidly until he felt Xenu’s presence enlighten him (Editor’s Note: Nolng would not talk for the rest of the season).

Miraculously, Eek arrived at practice with his jaw perfectly intact, as if nothing had happened. During their first fifteen-second water break, I pulled him aside and asked him what his secret to healing so quickly. Later that day, he revealed it to me: ammonia mixed with superglue. Using a one-inch wide syringe, Eek would inject his concoction into his jugular, thus making his muscles and bones thicker and more durable. Horrified at this flagrant abuse of policies, I wanted to go to the authorities, but Eek threatened to “paste me” if I ratted on him. Not once in my life have I ever been threatened with being “pasted”, and I opted not to find out what this meant.

I intended to leave the affair as it was in order to not ruffle any other feathers, but it seems that Eek wasn’t as eager to do so. After an exceptionally frustrating practice in which it was made clear that Sauce and Glee were having a passionate affair behind Nolng’s back, the Scientologist got so mad that he put the spikeball in his mouth and chewed on it until it popped. Per league rules, a team is only allowed two balls a season, and because the one Nolng popped was the Hawkeye’s second one (after an aggressive groundhog stole the first), the team was officially disqualified.

Glee called an emergency meeting that night in Volantairanous’ attic. He refused to give up his love for Sauce, causing a fight between him and Nolng, while Eek began brandishing a knife in my direction, warning me not to expose his doping. Seeing the blade and having flashbacks from the war, Volantairanous tackled Eek. The two struggled for the knife, until Eekwas accidentally stabbed in the throat, killing him. Glee flew into a panic, and jumped out the window of the attic, breaking seven vertebrae and ending his spikeball career for good. Tragically, he was set to be a first round draft pick for the Virgin Island Voyeurs.

Just as Sauce began to cry for her injured lover, diving towards the window herself, the house began to shake. In the corner, Nolng was chanting and clapping his hands. The sky opened up into two red slashes, and Xenu, God of Scientology, descended upon us. Sauce was scooped up into Alien Hell for her adultery, and Nolng was turned to dust for his misuse of Xenu’s power. Volantairanous and I were the only ones remaining, and the Sicillian showed no reaction to the god’s arrival—apparently this sort of thing happens all the time in Italy. As all the sinners that had entered the room were now disposed of, Xenu disappeared back into the sky, filling my mind with sixteen different ways in which the world will end, turning my brain to mush.

Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good season.

Try-outs for new members of the spikeball team will begin next month with the first cry of the Turkey Hawk.


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