In the past seven days, tUMD Athletics has retired the number 14 in two different sports, for two vastly different reasons.
Last night at the first intermission, UMD men’s hockey celebrated former player, Hobey Baker winner, and current men’s hockey staff member Bill Watson. In front of his family, his work family, and his Bulldog family, Watson gave a speech and the retirement banner was unveiled. Alex Iafallo currently wears #14 and I would assume gets grandfathered in, Mariano Rivera-style.
Last weekend during homecoming, UMD softball honored the memory of Mandy Matula with a jersey retirement as well as the establishment of the 1 Four Mandy Matula Fund to support UMD softball. Mandy was killed in May 2013, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, who later committed suicide. The circumstances of her jersey retirement are both sickening and saddening, and my heart goes out to her family, teammates, and friends.
I hope all you RWD readers, as you celebrate a Bulldog legend, will take a moment and think of Mandy. I wish I could say something else, give some kind of advice or call to action, but I really don’t know what to say. No one should be hurt by someone they loved, even after the relationship is over, and no one should hurt someone they love or once loved, even if that person doesn’t love them anymore. It seems simple and obvious to say that, but we all know in reality, it’s not.