Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Football Quandary

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?

7 comments:

coffeypot said...

If you want to know about football, go here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNxLxTZHKM8. It is Andy Grffith’s What Is Was,Was Football. His Romeo and Julliett is pretty funny, too.

Momma Val said...

Always bring your own water bottle. I know that you probably know this and forgot. I too forget all the time. If you bring your own and nobody wants to fill it up for you I have actually gone in the lasied room and very carefully filled up my water bottle. OR you could stick your face under the faucet if you forget again and are dying of thirst. Many places will not allow full containers of anything, in which case you could bring it in empty and ask that a concession clerk fill it for you bottle or cup. Just some ideas. Hope that this helps you. Good for you about carrying the bottles all the way home.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

YAY for carrying home the trash--

I went to lots of games because I was on the school paper and yearbook and had to take pictures.

Aliki2006 said...

I actually like going to live football games, even though I hate watching it on TV.

I think the best strategy is to smuggle in your own water. I've done this before at games...

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

If they don't let you carry in your own water bottles, I guess you just have to do what you have to do.

Debbie said...

I love football and you seem to know quite a bit for a non-participant. You have me thinking football now, and it being Sunday, I'm having a hard time with the bottle issue. Me having no boobs to speak of, I could put bottle there and no one would be the wiser. It would jiggle and look like boobs too!

BlackenedBoy said...

If I knew even the slightest thing about football, I'd probably be able to figure out where you are. Unfortunately, my ignorance on this subject, with all but the Native City team (and even then my knowledge is only cursory) is total, so your pseudonymity is saved.