I have not always been a sport-loving person. My family raised me with no allegiance to any teams, either in college or professional sports. We did used to gather round to watch the Olympics, though. I still remember 1984, a great year for American women, when Mary Lou Retton won the gold in gymnastics all-around (as a young gymnast wannabe, I really wanted to be her) and Joan Benoit won the first ever Women’s Olympic Marathon (her? I just thought she and all the other marathoners were nuts, and I still do, but now I want to be her too).
But today I’m talking team sports. The kind of sports I NEVER watched growing up. I didn’t grow to appreciate major league baseball until I dated a guy in college who was obsessed with it and his parents kindly instructed me in the fine art of spending hours watching games. Now, I get it and I love it. Football, on the other hand, I have never understood. As a member of the marching band in high school (BARITONE! SAXOMOPHONE!), I attended every game and had to be aware enough of the action on the field that I knew when it was time to stand up and play the school song, fight song, etc. But I never understood it.
My undergraduate alma mater had no football team, so I never had to think about it in college. The innate understanding of NCAA Football most Americans have was never mine. Conferences? Rankings? Any rules more complicated than basic scoring and downs? Don’t ask me to explain.
But this year, I find myself taking an interest. And why shouldn’t I, when the top two ranked teams in the nation happen to be my graduate school alma mater and my current place of employment? My friends and I keep talking about it: wouldn’t it be awesome if Oregon and Auburn match up in the post-season? In, say the BCS Championship Game, JUST FOR EXAMPLE? Tigers vs Ducks? Green and Yellow vs Orange and Blue? The SEC vs the PAC-10?
(Look at me, all saying the names of conferences like I have any clue — and after the conference re-arranging nonsense that went down it is definitely safe to say I have NO clue AT ALL.)
At any rate, just in time for Auburn’s historic season, I happen to have a friend with season tickets! So Saturday I found myself actually inside the big, huge stadium that I look at every day from my office window (Seen above on a normal, non-game day). For the very first time. With about 87,000 of my “closest friends,” as they say.
Yes, me at a football game! And if you don’t believe me, here are the pictures to prove it:
Now, on the subject of this hypothetical BCS Championship Game between Oregon and Auburn — well, who do you think I would cheer for?
DUUUUCKS (of course)!
I actually only went to one(!) University of Oregon home game for the entire duration of my undergraduate career, even during the seasons where we were doing especially well. However, after associating with all the football-loving knuckleheads you and I both know, I’ve gone to two home games so far this season. I think the more you understand the game, the more watching it in person becomes enjoyable.
I even have the words to our fight song memorized now, though it seems that most students don’t.
I am not a football person at all, though I like to watch soccer sometimes. And also roller derby. But you’re football photos are great, and they make me want to go to a game. Possibly only for a giant, salty pretzel. But still.
Well, I’m a Husky, so I’m naturally opposed to Oregon (and Washington State, obviously). The answer to your question would be Auburn.
These pictures made me SO happy. Growing up with myriad cousins who played high school and then college football (and a family comprised of endless sports fans), fall has always been (and will always be!) synonymous with football. It’s my favorite time of year for that reason and so many more.
Tigers! For purposes of cross-hemispheric comparison, you might like to listen to the theme song of the Richmond Tigers Australian Football League team, the sheer jauntiness of which was enough to move me this year from my indifference-verging-on-loathing to actually watching the entire grand final.
Hooray!! I am so happy that you are enjoying football this season. Such awesome pictures, too. (Do you think Cam looks melancholy because of the NCAA accusations?)
And don’t worry about the “repeating some words I heard” aspect of football talk. After watching football passively for 30+ years and paying attention to it for just about six or seven, I’m just now starting to see how plays work, when interference should be called, things like that. And I’m still constantly asking Paul what’s happening. As long as you’re having fun and enjoying the spectacle!
(I can’t wait for that Ducks vs. Tigers BCS championship either.)
What are the team songs for the Ducks like?
We are the ones who quack! (quack quack!)
When you hear us at your back (quack quack!)
Then you will all shout f*k (quack quack!)
‘Cos it’s those horrid ducks! (quack quack!)
Um, is Cam Newton posing for you? Awesome picture! And did you actually see him and then take his picture, or did you happily find him in a larger one upon further review? I don’t ever see him on the sidelines even though he could be right in front of me. They all look the same to me–a blue and white blob with touches of orange. So glad you went with me!
No sports for me. My parents are nerds and I was raised with an knowledge of world history, social activism movements and theater. I have no idea how sports are played or scored. And I have no hand-eye-foot coordination, so I never played sports. And that’s why I run. Way to totally not fulfil lesbian stereotypes. I did watch the basketball finals last year since we now live in LA and the Lakers were playing. I did enjoy that. Well, I enjoyed the beer and seeing my partner get a little butch.