Why I didn’t go to football games

Paul Janes, Editor-in-Chief

Throughout I’ve gone to countless sporting events for plenty of different teams. I wouldn’t call myself the most spirited student or even close to that title. I do know though, that when I find a team/sport that I like I stick with it. For many people this was football games, and I understand why. Football is without a doubt the most captivating sport we have in the school, there’s something about those friday night lights that are unrivaled. Now that the season is over I’m sure that people, fans and players alike, are sad that this aspect of the school year is over. The way football games bring the school together is special, and no other sport does that. 

With that being said, I never liked those football games. Something about those friday night lights and the crazy student section made me feel out of place. To me football games represented everything I don’t like about high school, a culture of popularity and competition. This aversion to football games led me to some of the best decisions I ever made in high school, and that was finding other sports to support. 

Being a fan of any sport is a curious hobby, because you are associating yourself with a team you aren’t a part of. For some people being a fan isn’t anything more than being happy if the team wins a game, but for others it is live or die. Every sport has fans, some more so than others, but they still exist. I like to find the sports that don’t really have any fans, because the connection you build with that team is a lot more meaningful than any connection you could build with a heavily supported team. That connection is the reason I love being a fan, it gives you emotions you have no right to feel. 

  I was lucky enough to build that connection with a few sports throughout my endeavors in high school. The first team I did that with was tennis, probably because I played the sport but that isn’t important. Starting in 3rd grade I would go to tennis matches every once in a while, but in High School I started becoming a big supporter. For the past 3 years I’ve skipped school to go watch the team play at their regional and state championships and it has been worth every missed day and dollar I’ve spent to do it. Tennis has given me some of my best friends, and I was lucky enough to be a part of that team this year. Even though I was an “alternate”, I still cherished every second I got to play the sport I loved on a court with some of my best friends. 

The next sport that I started supporting soccer, which also is probably due in part to the fact that I played soccer up until High School. While I never got extremely close to the soccer team or anything, watching those games were some of the most fun nights I’ve had. Chirping opposing teams or yelling for Cooper Head to come into the game gave me plenty of memories these past 4 years. I got to watch the kids in my grade go from JV superstars to Varsity starters, and it was a great journey. 

Spring of Junior year is when I started supporting the girls lacrosse team, and I have zero clue as to why I did. I think it was pure boredom that drove me to support the team, but luckily those games filled that boredom. Driving multiple hours with Jack Hollis just to watch a state championship team win every game by 20+ goals seems like a waste of gas money to a lot of people, but not to us. 

Finally this fall is when I started supporting the Cross Country team, and again I don’t really know why. It helps that I have classes with two state champion runners in Anna Petr and Evan Bishop, but aside from that I don’t really know why I decided to start going to their meets. I only went to two of them, Regionals and States, but I was the only fan at both of those. Watching Evan Bishop break his school record one weekend and then the next weekend winning states is special, and I’m lucky to even say I watched it happen. The same goes for Anna Petr leading the girls team to yet another state championship, the emotion I witnessed at that finish line isn’t comparable to any other sport. 

I started off by thinking this would be a very well established almost argument, but instead it became an open letter. There’s a beauty to sports, they simply just bring people together. For some driving five minutes to Memorial Field is what they love, and I understand that. I don’t know why I am the way that I am when it comes to supporting sports, but I can’t change it now. Maybe it’s the connection to that team that I crave, or maybe it’s just that I have too much time on my hands.