TCOM Bowl brings a day of football, family and fun to HSC

By Steven Bartolotta

TCOM students huddle together before annual football game

After missing a year due to the pandemic, a longstanding Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) football tradition is returning, rebranded to incorporate more elements of inclusion and fun for all families.  

The “Standards of Scare” is set for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. with a Fall Carnival and Family tours on the MET Lawn of The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC).  

The TCOM Bowl begins at 3 p.m. with a men’s flag football game between the Class of 2024 and Class of 2025. It’s followed by a women’s game at 4 p.m. The bowl gives students an opportunity to make up for some lost time.  

“During COVID, a lot of students missed out on a valuable part of medical school education: camaraderie,” said TCOM second-year student Daniel Park. “By having a full day of events with a carnival, tours, and the football game, we are hoping that our classmates can enjoy time with each other and honestly just have fun. For the class of 2024, we hope this can be a great bonding experience.” 

The beginning of the “Standards of Scare” will consist of carnival games, tours for family members, food, and a chance to throw a pie at either TCOM professors or class presidents.  

Nearly 100 students from both classes signed up to participate as players, coaches, cheerleaders, and cheer coaches. The 2021 edition of the TCOM Bowl represents a new beginning of inclusiveness for male and female students.  

“The new format we’re having is wonderful because it allows all of our classmates to have the opportunity to either cheer or play football,” said TCOM second-year student Avani Bellary. “By having a co-ed cheerleading team, a men’s football game, and a women’s football game, there is something for everyone who is willing to participate.” 

“The TCOM Bowl (formerly known as Powderpuff) was an annual event that the students held to promote gender equity by having female students play like the athletes and male students cheer them on,” said Park. “However, that still limits who can cheer or who can play and deviates from the true spirit of the event. With the new format, we are providing students of all genders a chance to participate as cheerleaders and as players, which we believe promotes even greater gender equity.” 

The game Saturday also represents the first opportunity for either class to play in the traditional flag-football Year 1 -vs- Year 2 rival game. The Class of 2022 was last victorious over the Class of 2023 in October 2019.  

“Everyone is buzzing about this event,” said Bellary. “The fact that we are all looking forward to making this event as fun as possible has made planning so enjoyable, and we have also loved working with the TCOM administration to make this dream a reality. Personally, I am so proud of everyone who is involved with organizing this event, — it really has been all hands-on deck from all our officers. I can’t wait to see how our hard work has paid off.” 

What about the game? There is one prediction already in.  

“I might be biased and say that I think 2024 is going to win both games, but no matter what the outcome, I am hoping that we will at least set a good precedent for future TCOM Bowls,” said Park.

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