Yesterday I did something very un-dude: I went to a football game. To be clear, I am not generally a fan of football. I find it only slightly less boring than baseball. I never even went to a single high school football game, that all-American ritual, and had in fact only been to one previous football game in my entire life. However, SodaBoy got free tickets from a co-worker, and the venue where Hometown University plays is walkable from our house. It seemed to be a not entirely unreasonable way to spend an autumn afternoon.
Although I am to understand Hometown U has traditionally had a respectable football team, with standout history-making players, and long runs of success, the current team is widely regarded as dismal. They lost their season opener, which was supposed to be a cupcake game, to a team from a lesser division, and have lost all other games this season as well. I feel sorry for the whole franchise, the coach who will almost certainly be canned at the end of this season, and especially the kids who work so hard in practice every day.
But yesterday HU won! It was to another "lesser" program, but given the downward spiral of the last few years, such victories cannot be taken for granted. Attendance has dropped significantly. There were only maybe 30,000 guests in the 50,000 seat venue, which wasn't such a bad thing for our personal comfort. We had plenty of room to stretch out, instead of being crammed in, like at basketball games, our shoulders pressed awkwardly against those of neighboring fans. At one point, part of the marching band filed into the empty seats behind us, and stayed for the entire third quarter, blasting out little bursts of noisy pep at every possible lull in the action. Deafening, but definitely entertaining.
In my opinion, the main drawback to an early season sporting event at this venue is the beverage situation: outside drinks are not allowed. As I mentioned, we regularly attend basketball games at the same venue. However, the climate in my area is such that during basketball season, we are always bundled up in bulky outerwear, and it is easy to smuggle in a reusable water bottle (me) or a can or two of soda (SodaBoy). Another family friend has been known to bring his own beer. Yesterday, with the temperatures in the mid-70s, and both of us wearing t-shirts, bringing our own drinks was not an option.
We made it through the first quarter sans refreshment, but then SodaBoy broke down and hit a concession stand. Football games are interminable, after all, and we had walked there, perhaps a 20 or 25 minute walk in the sun. There was thirst to be quenched. I still felt pretty bad about the disposable water bottle though. So bad that I carried it with me all the way home so that I could recycle it. [Full disclosure: there are recycling containers available at the Hometown U sporting facility, but I did not pass any on the way to the exit.] I also picked up and carried home another empty water bottle that had been discarded along the sidewalk.
Does anyone have any advice for avoiding disposables in such a situation?