Hi 89 / Lo 73
|Volume 68, Issue 1,
New Cougar fan delights in gameday experience
Saturday night was something special. I watched my first Cougar football game at Robertson Stadium, and what an experience.
My plans for an evening of playing GameCube's Super Smash Bros. Melee with a friend had fallen through, and there was nothing on TV either. So I felt that I might as well give in to my curiosity and first-year school spirit and go watch the Coogs play against Tulane (strangely known as the Green Wave).
I arrived and took a seat on a bench northwest corner of the field. Thousands of Cougar fans braved the possibility of Fay-related weather to support the team. I was proud to be among them. If I was struck by lightning, they could say, "He died with honor."
I don't know very much about football. I have but a paltry, surface knowledge of the game. But I do know some things. I know we definitely want our guys — who are in red and white — to avoid their guys — who are in green and white — and carry the football — which is brown and white — all the way to the other side of the field — which is green and white.
When they do this, it's called a touchdown (not to be confused with a touchback, which is a fake word used to confuse newcomers). Yeesh — no wonder the rest of the world plays soccer.
The ambience was captivating. All around me, fans sat (and stood) cheering raucously for the home team. In fact, most of the bleachers were full of red-and-white-clad Cougars fans rooting for the team.
There was also a small section on the other side of the stadium that held green-and-white-clad fans, who were apparently worshippers of the Green Wave. These "wavers" were not nice people. They only cheered when something unpleasant happened to the Cougars. Throughout the game, either you'd hear the entire stadium except the "wavers" section yelling; or you'd hear the reverse — the "wavers" screaming over relative silence. What misguided people they were.
The first half of the game was exciting. The Cougars made many exciting plays that helped the team's position. They allowed the "wavers," by some means, to get three points; then the Coogs used a few strategic "downs" and "plays" to score seven points.
If there is an under-appreciated aspect of the game, it is the cheerleaders. During the game, I saw these people — who are possibly some sort of genetically-modified superhumans engineered in the University's undisclosed College of Biological Enhancement — carry out all manner of acrobatics and feats of strength. I'd like to see you do a backflip from a standing position (really, no human can do this), or lift another cheerleader and keep her aloft on one hand while unwaveringly looking up! There was one mishap where a cheerleader dropped his partner, but fortunately neither was hurt. Give him a break: the grass was slick, her shoes were wet — and perhaps he was just focusing too hard on looking up.
Toward the end of the second "period" (not "quarter"), the gathering clouds finally dropped their liquid payload upon the game. Many fans scrambled for cover. But the rest of us stayed put, as did the players. Like the stubborn lot that we are, we prefer pneumonia over not getting to watch the cheerleaders — I mean, the game, the game. So we sat, soaked and drenched, but stronger than ever (save for the pneumonia). I vowed to remain sitting down until the end of the game. Besides, I was having a blast.
Next was halftime, when it was the band's and the dancers' time to shine (in lieu of the sun). I was impressed with the display. It undoubtedly took the band and its leaders dozens of practice rounds to get their synchronized routine down. I know I couldn't play a trombone and remember where the heck I'm supposed to be standing. Especially not in the rain. The same goes for the dancers. The best dance you'd get from me is the running man (which, when I do it, looks more like the erratic seizure man).
After halftime, the game took a turn for the worse. The "other guys" across the stadium were cheering way too often. Everything just seemed to become more and more unglued as the game progressed. Worse, I never again saw that tall, white-garbed cheerleader with the brown hair that I'd developed a pseudo-crush on. Could this game get any worse? What a lousy way to remember the first game of my college career.
People around me began leaving as it became more and more evident that a Green Wave victory was assured. Sure, I was disappointed. But I still rooted for the Coogs. Win or lose, they're still our team. They still represent us. And I can't stand bandwagon supporters. So I continued to sit. Heck — I was still having a blast.
The game ended with loss, but I'd made it through my first Cougar football game. Go Coogs.
I was wet, yes; and sure, there was the pneumonia. Most of all, though, I felt that warm sensation. I needed to use the bathroom like nobody's business.
Until next time, Cougars fans; Be sure to come out and support our team. You'll have a blast!
Davis, a freshman English major,
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