True Grit: the RIT Plowing Team
by Joe Mahmah | published Apr. 1st, 2015
RIT is known for its long-storied past of brutal lake-effect winters. From December to March we are battered with snow and sub-zero temperatures, but we have one savior: our champion RIT Snow Plowing team.
The RIT Plowing Team has been the National Champion since 1983. They are the number-one plowing team in the world, beating out the Soviet Union and Canada every year. RIT has a plowing record that is almost perfect.
“Yeah, we’re pretty much the best,” says Mason Cummings, seventh year Sexual Education and Women's Studies major. Cummings has lead the team to numerous victories in his last five years on the team.
This year, Cummings plowed his way to victory. His incomparable technique and unbridled skill with a plow shaft are things that can't be ignored. He made his way into the Plowing Hall of Fame in February after the brutal winter storm that struck campus with temperatures of 32 degrees below zero and an unfortunate epidemic of rock-hard nipples. He and his loyal plowers managed to plow the entire campus clean in a single morning. There were no complaints, and people were raving about the amazingly safe walkways and completely snow-free parking lots. Future Interpretive Dance major Dan C. Fiend would not shut the hell up about how excited he was.
“I just can't believe it. I can dance without falling!” Dan said while twirling in a fanatically flamboyant manner around me. I attempted to move away and he followed me in a flurry of leaps, all of which were perfect landings on the dry, freshly-plowed asphalt (evidence of impeccable plowing skill).
“The RIT Plowing Team has changed my life! No more will my nipples scrape harshly against the ground when I fall. Thank you for plowing me, RIT Plow Team!” Dan raved.
After that unwanted interruption, I visited the site of the RIT Plow-A-Thon, which is a combination charity event and fundraiser. All donations go to the official western New York chapter of the Plowers and Distributors of Ice Chipping Knowledge (P-DICK), an organization that aims to raise awareness of the importance of plowing to the human experience. They host plowing events, plow seminars and even run a "Get Plowed Quick" plowing service. P-DICK wants everyone to know that with regular plowing, winters are safe and fun and sore nipples are a thing of the past. RIT has hosted this event for the past 32 years as a part of their duty as reigning champions and chapter founders, and this year raised a banging $69,000.
The keynote speaker for the Plow-A-Thon this year was former team captain Dirk T. Sanchez. His speech was full of uplifting stories and quotes, but one short monologue caught my attention. He started off with a bit of information we already knew. You know, the standard “RIT has the best plowing skills in the world” and “Cummings soon will be recruited by international plowers everywhere,” but the part that hit home was this:
“Whether it was plowing at night in alleyways with strangers, having a quickie plow session in the gym, or practicing my plowing technique while my girlfriend diligently watched every day, I always took it one step further to come in at number one.”
The sheer determination we see in Dirk T. Sanchez is exactly what our team has, and what has taken us so far. Our skills in the plowing department have not gone unnoticed, and will continue to shine through. The Plow Team's admirable grit is truly a testament to their team motto:
“We go hard, and we go raw.”
Plow on, boys. Plow on.
If you would like to use the "Get Plowed Quick" service offered by the P-DICK, call them at 1(800) WeP-lowU to set up your first plowing session for free!