“Badminton receives a terrible rep for being an infantile sport,” laments Perry Hall High School graduate Kevin Vieira. “I like to show humans there’s extra to badminton than humans suppose.” Vieira is the modern day challenger for the prestigiously unofficial name of “Best (Singles) Badminton Player at UMBC,” dealing with off against self-proclaimed incumbent Mitchell “Misha” Betenbaugh.

On the morning of Feb. 21, ominous flyers started out acting around the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus. “Hi, I’m Misha,” they commenced in typed black text and proceeded to lay declare to the championship identify. Signing off with “Prove me incorrect” and a telephone number (and then “Side Note: HMU in case you’re Creative/Woke” in fine print), the task became issued.

“The gauntlet has been thrown,” facts systems junior Allison Battisti wrote at the faculty’s meme page, accompanied using a guffawing emoji and a picture of 1 poster. She had spotted it taped to the doorway of the on-campus Starbucks. “Honestly, it turned into simply the sheer absurdity of it,” she explains of her first impression, “Like, I couldn’t tell if it becomes severe or not. Who claims to a whole faculty to be the high-quality badminton participant, like, badminton of all matters, absolutely?”

“I became gambling in the RAC, and there wasn’t any competition for me, so I simply decided to put the posters as much as discover humans,” philosophy and economics senior Betenbaugh explains. Within some hours, the bodily flyers had been removed using campus police. However the online community was already in a frenzy.

“Welcome to Misha’s Badminton Battlegrounds,” joked meme page admin Samuel Becker in a later post.

Betenbaugh has on account that seen a constant circulate of combatants, the primary 9 of whom have lent credibility to his self-assessment thus far. “I’m nine-0 right now. This may be the 10th healthy on account that I put the posters up,” he recounts, “…It will be a speedy victory.”

“I’m a little worried, but I am feeling quite confident,” says Vieira as Betenbaugh negotiates use of the court docket, “I haven’t played in six years, although.”

The guys warm up, and Vieria holds his very own for numerous passes before lacking the birdie on a dive. Although the competition has yet to formally begin, Vieira is already reconsidering his chances. “He’s an exceptional participant – I am getting a bit concerned,” Vieira admits.

The first game ensues, and Betenbaugh wins all, however, one point in 22 rallies. He estimates the overall sports time at around three to four mins – a fragment of the 15-minute recreation time average pronounced using the Department of Physical Education at Baylor University – and the 2 decide a 2nd recreation would be redundant. “That’s nothing, even though. I beat one of the guys inside the time it took to play one music,” Betenbaugh boasts.

“Misha is top notch,” concedes Vieira.

Although she observed it a little “cringe,” Battisti accepts this event as a bit of the university’s tradition. “I feel love it simply embodies the spirit of UMBC so much,” she sighs. “Like a whole lot as I become surprised to look [the original flyer], I was additionally much like, ‘Yup. Only at UMBC.’”

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