Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 9, 2018 at 10:34 pm Contact Eric: firstname.lastname@example.org | @esblack34 Comments Six words are tattooed on Allie Munroe’s ribs. Inked on the right side of her body during her freshman year, the message finishes each conversation with her dad.“The best is yet to come.”Maurice Munroe began saying the phrase when his daughter was younger and would suffer a setback during a game or weekend series. He believed that no matter what, the situation could always improve. He didn’t like to see Munroe pout when things didn’t go her way, so the phrase caught on as a reminder that she should keep her head up.“If your life’s going good, that doesn’t mean it can’t get better. If your life’s going bad, I just think it can only go up,” she said. “I view that in a hockey sense and a life sense.”Now a senior at Syracuse University, Munroe has had far more successes than failures in her hockey career, one filled with individual and team accolades. As a captain for the Orange, she is still looking for SU’s elusive first-ever College Hockey America conference championship. She’s won CHA defender of the year, all-conference first team honors and was named to the Canadian National Women’s Development Team. But all she talks about are the downs: CHA playoff losses and the one time she was cut.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Unless we ask her, she doesn’t really say too much,” roommate and co-captain Lindsay Eastwood said. “She doesn’t want to throw it in our face at all … she’s super humble about it.”Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerMunroe had dreamt about the chance to play for the development team since she was a kid. She expected to make it, just like she had with all of her other teams — only this time, she’d represent her country.Along with 46 other girls who were invited to the development team camp, Munroe waited to talk to the coaches. Once in the room, Munroe heard news she hadn’t before: she didn’t make it.Munroe left the facility and boarded the bus where the other girls who’d also gotten cut were transported home. Instead of crying, she held it in. The sadness and disappointment of being told she’d missed the team sunk in quickly, but the tears took a while. She didn’t usually cry in front of people.“Everyone’s rooting for you, so it goes to your head,” Munroe said. “You don’t only disappoint yourself. Everyone wants you to succeed, so it’s difficult when you fail.”Following the announcement, she called her parents, who listened to their daughter through speakerphone. She sounded depressed, Maurice said, a quality in her voice that is rarely heard.Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerMunroe received a letter after she returned to Syracuse notifying her of the good qualities she exhibited during the camp as well as the ones she needed to work on. She had skill, it said, but she needed speed.“(Her teammates) didn’t give her a chance to be down too long,” Maurice said. “She had a role to play on the team at Syracuse. It made her focus on the moment at hand.”Before long, the best season of Munroe’s Syracuse career was underway. Using her experience from the summer with the development team, she posted career-highs in goals (seven) and assists (14), en route to being named the conference’s defender of the year in her sophomore season.Despite Munroe’s accolades, Syracuse fell in the CHA championship for the second year in a row. As a freshman, she’d scored a goal and tallied an assist in the title game loss. As a sophomore, Munroe and the Orange were shut out. She was named to the all-tournament team both years, but that didn’t matter.When Syracuse fell to Mercyhurst 4-3 in double overtime of the CHA championship in her freshman year, SU’s seniors pleaded to the underclassmen not to do what they’d done.“Don’t wait until your senior year to win the CHA,” the seniors said, something that Munroe has never forgotten.Last year, Munroe contracted mono late in the season, causing her to miss the playoffs — something she chalks up as a “failure” — and watched Syracuse’s season end while on the bench.“I remember some of our meetings when she was (a freshman),” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. “Just wanting to win a championship. Now all of a sudden you fast forward, she’s a senior, here we go, you still got one chance.”Laura Angle | Digital Design EditorBy the end of her sophomore year, her consecutive failures individually and as a team piled up. When the decisions for the Canadian Development Team were made, Munroe felt as pessimistic as ever. She couldn’t make the camp that summer, so she expected the worst.At her Syracuse apartment with her roommates, Eastwood, Brooke Avery and Maddi Welch, the call came. As her phone rang, she looked at them and thought, “I’m getting cut.” But when she emerged from her room after the call, she told them the good news: she made it.“It was a shock, to be honest,” Avery said. “She never goes out of her way to share that stuff … she came out and she was like, ‘I made the team,’ it was just so relieving, for us, she was so stressed about it.”For a period after getting cut the first year, the letter informing her of her shortcomings from the first tryout hung in her room at Syracuse, reminding her of her biggest failure in hockey. It also alluded to her strengths. As a kid, Munroe’s dream was to get invited to and ultimately make the Canadian Development Team. As a member of the Orange, her only goal has been to win the CHA title.Munroe’s teammates and coaches have seen noticeable differences in her play and demeanor since getting cut by and later making the Canadian Development Team. She’s introduced new ideas in practice and games and, as captain, helped acclimate freshmen to Syracuse.The pieces are there to win a CHA championship, Flanagan said. After the past CHA title losses, Maurice relayed the message Munroe’s heard all her life: The best is yet to come.“At the end of the year, it’s a failure, you don’t move on,” Munroe said. “It’s been tough the last couple years with that — just drives me more.”
Are you a real nerd? Do you think you’re the number one devotee of your niche fandom? Would you throw down with anyone who says they love your fandom more than you?Well step aside, you filthy casuals. Japan is here to school you on showing the world who your one true waifu for laifu is.Today in Extreme Japan Fandom, we highlight the extremely obnoxious and impracticable Ita bag.Photo by Twitter user @metanyaniWhat are bags for? To put things inside of. What do the Japanese otaku do? The exact opposite.Wear your 2D love on your sleeve, so to speak, with an ita-bag: a monstrosity of fandom that decorates the outside of your carrying devices with such weight of love that it pains you. The word itai literally means “hurt” or “painful:” both because the bag is so heavy with pins, key chains, and other such fan merchandise, and also because it’s so emblazoned with items that it’s painful to look at. Let’s not even talk about the painful price of some of these bags. The little key chains, pins, plushies and photos tend to add up when multiplied by 40 or 50.It costs money to show love to your 2D honey, man.Photo by Twitter user @ToastieChanAlthough ita bags were born and bred to the monstrosities they are today by the Japanese otaku, fans around the world are following suit. Mutant ita bags such as these are a regular occurrence at conventions around the world if you keep your eyes peeled.Photo by Twitter user @sarunamirabuIta bag creator Olivia Rivera mentions that her bag isn’t so much about showing off, but about organizing. “I think I’ve always liked key chains but hated how if they get clumped up you can’t really showcase them. Ita bags sort of allow you to show your collection while traveling or in motion.”Her ita bag may seem grossly excessive, but a true fan is proud of their collection and casts aside things like shame when it comes to their fandom.Photo by Twitter user @CosKittzLast year’s ita bag contest in Tokyo gave birth to this beautiful creature:I love Minami Kotori from Love Live, but holy Roosevelt Jesus, Twitter user @vicks2054 definitely loves her more.A real fan gives up their flimsy dignity to let the world know that they love their franchise; probably more than you do.Photo by Twitter user @104TVXFeature image by Twitter user @vainilliaa.