The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Goat House goes for three [years]

From Blue Mountain State to Grinnell College, Goat House, located at 817 7th St., enters its third year as the unofficial house of the Grinnell football team. This year, the house is home to Clayton Desjardin, Jordy Manker, John Mertes, Danny Reynolds and Daniel Ryerson (all ’15), and Brogan McWilliams and Sam Poulos (both ’16).

When deciding where to live this year, the men thought the opportunity to live in Goat House was too great to pass up.

“It wasn’t even a choice to live here. We all just had to,” Mertes explained.

Having been the football house for three years, the house often entertains recent alumni returning to Grinnell for major social events or just to watch a home game.

“It’s cool when people that have lived here come back and tell us all the dumb stuff they did here,” Mertes said.

Clayton  Desjardin, Jordy Manker, John Mertes, Danny Reynolds and Daniel Ryerson (all ’15), and Brogan McWilliams and Sam Poulus (both ’16) call Goat House home. Photograph by Tela Ebersole.
Clayton Desjardin, Jordy Manker, John Mertes, Danny Reynolds and Daniel Ryerson (all ’15), and Brogan McWilliams and Sam Poulus (both ’16) call Goat House home. Photograph by Tela Ebersole.

Don’t get confused though, not all housemates currently are on the football team—three just finished their Grinnell careers at the end of this season, two have one more season to go and two are “retired,” as Manker likes to put it.

In line with the athletic theme, the house is spotted with sports memorabilia; however, the eye-catching piece of the house is a gorgeous, wall-spanning American flag.

Unlike many of the objects in the house, the flag, which Manker is proud to call his, was brought to the house in the beginning of the year. Various other signs, furniture, a massive TV and even a locked grill, without the key, have been left at the house over the years.

“I think the baseball players used to live here a really long time ago and they moved in with that TV and left it,” Desjardin said.

The TV has helped the house bond in many ways, both academic and athletic.

The house gathers daily to watch “Jeopardy!” and once, and only once, they even watched an episode of “Deal or No Deal,” but they would prefer that incident was forgotten. –

While watching the seventh game of the World Series, the house attempted to give the Kansas City Royals the luck they needed to overcome the San Francisco Giants. Despite using countless superstitious techniques, such as turning their jeans inside out, rolling their pant legs up, putting their socks on their hands and even tapping everyone’s head with a water bottle, they were unable to give Kansas the win.

“We got a guy on third base, we just didn’t push it far enough,” Reynolds sadly recalls.

Unlike the TV, not everything that’s been left at the house has been cherished.

“[At the beginning of the year] you pick through the shit you want and the rest of it, you know, discard,” Ryerson said.

In addition to the items left behind, two previous residents decided to stick around and once again live in Goat House.

“It’s nicer for Jordy and I this year because we have the nicest rooms in the house arguably, cause we lived here last year so we got first pick,” Desjardin said.

“We earned them,” Manker added.

Looking forward, both McWilliams and Poulos are excited to live in the house again next year, as they will get first picks for bedrooms and be able to decide who else to invite to live in the house.

In the meantime, the entire house looks forward to the weekly Lemonade Sunday. The exact origin of the tradition seems to have been lost over the weeks, but some claim the first Lemonade Sunday occurred while ordering Jimmy John’s over the phone. The tradition entails three main components: first and second, unsurprisingly, are Jimmy John’s lemonade and Sunday, and third is dice. Each housemate rolls two dice, and the person with the lowest sum picks up the tab for everyone’s lemonade.

The tradition of rolling dice has been extended to just about everything.

“We’ve been getting into the die a lot recently. We use it to decide who has to take out the trash, who has to clean up,” Desjardin said.

“Who has to buy $26 worth of drinks from the movie theater,” Poulos added, seemingly sour from a recent string of unlucky rolls.

The house will have one additional roll of the dice at the end of the semester as Poulos leaves to study abroad in Copenhagen and Dan Munger ’15 moves into The Goat.

The house appears nervous, but yet thrilled at the thought of Munger living with them, with Poulus describing the situation, “like a social experiment.”

As the results of the social experiment reveal themselves at the beginning of next semester, the house hopes to enjoy the off-season and continue to bond and grow as teammates, both former and current, and more generally, as friends.

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