Monday, September 11, 2006

I've Been Doing This All Wrong...

So last Thursday I went to a meeting of persons interested in helping out with the youth group at Christ UMC - the largest United Methodist Church in the state of Utah (there are only 16 or so). There I met a lot of cool people, one of whom called me on Saturday and invited me to the University of Utah game against Northern Arizona.

Not having gone to a school with a football team (technically UT Martin, my first school, had a football team but I think they won two games total in the two years I was there so we won't get hung up on technicalities) I have never really had a student-fan experience. All of my college sports fandam (fan+adam, just like my last made up word) consists of rooting for a school where I have never attended a collegiate class - Vanderbilt University. I wrote collegiate class because in 6th grade my class went to the campus theater to watch Little Women on the big screen.

My fandam experience with Vanderbilt is pretty intense. It involves knowing as much as I can know about every football player, coach, mascot, opponent, cheerleader, etc. Okay, I know nothing about the cheerleaders, but I get obsessed with the team during the season. Then, when gametime comes I watch on the television (where available, not here) because I get the commentary with the game action, not like at the stadium, and cringe, yell profanities, and second guess every move that the coach makes. Then, after the game I can't wait to read all of the commentary in the various papers and know, I'm a true fan. My mood depends on the outcomes. This is true with Vandy basketball, Titans football, and Pistons basketball to an extent.

When I accepted the invitation to the Utah game on Saturday, I was opened to a new sports experience. I went to one of my new friend's friend's houses and about 12 of us hung out and watched warm-up games on television. About 15 minutes after kick-off of the Ute's game, we headed up the hill to start the 10 minute walk to the stadium so we would show up a stylish 25 minutes late. We head to the student section (my first time to sit in the student section at a real college football game...once again, UT Martin doesn't count) and proceed to stand the entire game, except at halftime. Everyone on the near vicinity is a friend, even though we've never met before. The Utes are what tie us all together. I talk to several people, all who second guess my clothing choice.

Sidebar: I had to work all morning until I was picked up to go to the friend's house...therefore I wore to the game what I was wearing for work - a blue shirt. I soon learned that blue is BYU's main color so everyone I talked to said "Next game you come to, wear anything but blue." I replied to each of them with, "Oh, this isn't red? I'm so color-blind" to escape beatings.

End Sidebar

When the Utes score, which happened much that day, everyone around you gets a high five. It was awesome. I had no vested interest in the outcome, knew nothing about anyone on the home team, and no connection to the school but I was yelling, booing, doing the wave enthusiastically, and having the most fun I've ever had at a football game. So much less stressful than Vandy games on TV. As we were leaving, my 50,000 new football friends were thinking of the score, which was something like 49-7 and I could have cared less what the score was. I experienced the fun atmosphere of a football game that true fans probably never agony in defeat, no need to make sure every writer in the nation isn't ripping your team, no worries about injuries, only good times...

Since I'm rambling and rumbling about sports, I might mention that Trent Green, the NFL Quarterback who was carted off the field in a stretcher yesterday, was on ALL 3 of my fantasy football teams...goodbye defending champion team :Adam's Winners...maybe next year...(Adam's Winners are actually only the defending champions in one of his leagues, one is a public league and Adam knows no one in it, the other is a new league with various UMC pastors and youth leaders in the TN conference, but if he was in either league last year Adam would have won...)


Blogger Lauren said...

Glad that you had sooooo much fun. I agree that going as a "student" is best! Sorry about the fantasy football loss...yes i do know about fantasy football and do follow the leagues of those I know who participate..ok, so that was only my boyfriend until i know you play! You will have to keep me posted on your stats! Have fun!

12:55 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home