Saturday, September 12, 2009

I guess UCLA is sort of a good team?

It's fun to go to football on Saturdays. You get invited to cookouts and tailgates, like the one at Volunteer Hall today before the game:

Vol Hall cookout

where I had two hot dogs, a cookie, and a coke (in this part of the country, any brown soda is a "coke", whether it's actually Coca Cola or not), and you get to see odd, sort of crazy things that you don't understand and have to wonder about, like this:

youth juice?

Youth juice? I mean, I know what it sounds like to me, but that can't possibly be what's in that bottle. I probably should have just asked, or at least peeked into the cooler, but I didn't want to look like a rube if it's some kind of local thing that I just haven't heard of.

The best part of football for me, though, is that I have absolutely no emotional investment in whether or not we win. I recognize the players' names in a vague, housing related sense ("Oh, that's the guy who turned in his contract late way after the deadline, and that's the one who got billed for the wrong summer mealplan and I had to go and correct it."), but I don't know any of them. I know who the coaches are, but I don't really interact with them, either. The game is the same for me whether we win or lose, mostly because I'm not always sure of the rules. I just show up at the stadium and hope for the best.

Neyland Entrance

Today we played UCLA, a team that beat us last year under our old coach and beat us today under our new coach. We enjoyed really nice weather, and I was without the car pool, so I got to walk around before the game and see things like Eric Berry's enormous inflatable jersey:

eric berry's giant inflatable jersey

He plays some position on our team. It's not quarterback, because the quarterback was just on the news and wasn't him. Anyway, I'm sure he's good at whatever it is he's doing on the team, since he has a giant inflatable jersey and the quarterback doesn't. Hey, quarterback? Try to be more like Eric Berry, ok? Just look at the potential rewards.

Since I was by myself, I also got to go into the stadium after my shift, rather than bolting immediately for the car. We were already losing in the second quarter when I saw the field, but this all looked very exciting just the same:

second quarter (2)

second quarter (3)

heading to the benches

huddle

Next week is our first away game, which means I'll be doing something else on Saturday. We'll be playing Florida, who I think beat us last year, but I can't remember that for sure. I asked the other staff at our gate, but the only answer I got was, "Who didn't beat us last year?"

I have no idea, but football sure is fun.

5 comments:

Donna said...

Hehe. You know as much as I do about football...maybe more. At least you can say you were there. Do they pay you to work the gates? We can't even volunteer. $60 something bucks for a game or stay home. Which do you think I choose?

Joel said...

We get paid and we get a game ticket, if the game isn't sold out, to work at the gates. I mostly like going just to have somewhere to go and also because the people are fun to watch and be around.

Jeannie said...

You are hilarious. I am sorry I had to miss this great experience with you. I love that you don't know who Eric Berry is. Precious.

I hope you are feeling a bit better!

stanford said...

" Hey, quarterback? Try to be more like Eric Berry, ok? Just look at the potential rewards."

Just a sublime bit of writing there. I'm still giggling.

strong cookie. said...

("Oh, that's the guy who turned in his contract late way after the deadline, and that's the one who got billed for the wrong summer mealplan and I had to go and correct it.")

does this mean that you also have an irrational hatred for players who may have pissed you off for some horrific housing infraction? because I am all for that.