Why the green team always wins


for WHy the white team always wins
White team battles the green team in a balloon stomp during Conge 2012.
Courtesy of Taylor Michael ’13

Convent of the Sacred Heart students returned to school this fall in the midst of a tumultuous battle that has been going on for years. This legendary brawl between two opposing factions has been marked by controversy, competition and challenge. In the end however, there is no doubt about who will emerge on top.
“Green has won the last ten years,”  Assistant Dean of Students Maura O’Grady said.
Yes, the green and white teams have been grappling for ages. Students are assigned randomly to a team. If a student has a family precedent, she will follow suit. The green and white teams compete in events during the school year, earning points along the way, ultimately culminating in the final battle, field day.  And almost without fail, the green team seems always to emerge victorious.
“For as long as I can remember, the green team has always won green and white events. I don’t really have an explanation for it,” Committee of Games Head Emma Molloy said. “Personally, being a member of the green team, I am slightly biased and will claim that the green team just overall has more spirit. However, this year, I really want the white team to give the green team a run for its money!”
To find out whether a White team win is in the cards this year, it’s time to crunch some numbers:
Category: Size
Results: Green Team Win
But only by a little bit. All together, the white team has 158 members. The green team has a whopping 159. So the green team is bigger, but only marginally.
Category: Sports Captains
Results: White Team Win
Sports captains are elected as leaders in their athletic fields. They are not only talented, but passionate as well. Of the 20 captains for this athletic year, 11 of them are on the white team.
Category: Athletes
Results: Green Team Win
Of course, this is only for fall athletes. Once the winter and spring sports rosters come together, it might paint a very different picture. And once again, the count is very close. The white team has 69 fall athletes, while the green team has 70. Once again, this fails to account for a green team winning streak that has lasted close to a decade.
So what could possibly explain the phenomenon? The green and white team are almost identical in nearly every aspect. The green team is not bigger, the white team has more varsity captains. Some research suggests, however, that the answer could be deeper than anyone might have suspected. Operant conditioning refers to the idea that behavior is influenced by the reaction it receives. In other words, every year the white team does not win reinforces a preconceived notion that winning is impossible. Every time the green team wins, it reinforces the idea that victory is inevitable. So at green and white inductions, when the green team sounds like a chorus of excitable foghorns, and the white team sounds merely halfhearted, it could be because the green team is looking forward to another year of expected winning, whereas the white team does not see the point in trying.
The results are inconclusive, which does frustratingly little to explain why the white team has a record almost as pitiful as the Mets. But if it’s not a matter of athleticism or size, it could be that the problem is mainly all in our heads.
– Nora Henrie, Copy Editor