Stephanie Benoit May 31, 2016
Football can be a great uniter, but it can also create the deadliest of rivalries. Nothing proved truer for our two business units, Medical (represented by the Medical United team) and Software (represented by Real Magics), when they met in an epic battle of brains and brawn on Wednesday a few weeks ago.
The anticipation had already been building up months in advance. There were whispers of a showdown, but nobody knew it would take the form of a friendly football match until March 2016. Sides formed, teams intensified their training, and the trash-talking commenced. Gossip spread around the office like wildfire; was our CEO, Fried Vancraen, participating in the Medical United team as a sports fan dedicated to his employees? Or were his motives less pure at heart? Was he in fact using his insider position on the team to gather dirt for the opposition? The "Real Facebook" noticeboard in the cafeteria was rife with tales of match fixing, sabotage and scandals as Materialise employees picked sides and drew up the battle lines. Not even the legal department escaped with their dignity intact, as they were roped into gruelling weekly cheerleading practice. Henceforth dubbed the "cheerlegals", their chants punctuated the office halls with grim determination in the weeks leading up to the match. Then it was time for the game: after supplying the hungry players and supporters with drinks and hot dogs, everyone left in high spirits for the football stadium. Real Magics supporters were a cheery shade of green, and Medical United supporters were all decked out in red. Bets were collected at the entrance of the stadium so the proceeds could go to charity. Proceeds from the hot dog sale also went to charity, and sports fans who wanted to show support for their teams could do so by donating to sportfans4autism. It was a close call, but Medical United couldn’t stop Real Magics from snatching away the winner’s trophy from the jaws of victory. The final score was 5-3 in favor of Real Magics, leaving Medical United to bask in their own humiliation. As a consolation, they received the responsibility of organizing the annual Materialise Run for Benin, another charitable initiative where money is raised for a school project in Benin! Stay tuned for the next football match, as a company-wide tournament is now in the works – and our manufacturing department seem likely to be the next victims.