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Sports for Dummies: A circle of cultural isolation

The WSU crowd as seen in Martin Stadium, Oct. 17, 2015.

The WSU crowd as seen in Martin Stadium, Oct. 17, 2015.

The WSU crowd as seen in Martin Stadium, Oct. 17, 2015.

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Tomorrow, sports friends, I’m attending my very first football game. My dad wants to go.

Technically we went last year, too, but we stayed for less than two quarters in order to get a table at South Fork before the game ended. It was raining anyway, we were losing and it didn’t last long enough for me to get an accurate picture of what a football game is like.

The only sporting event I’ve ever really attended is a baseball game. I’ve been to plenty of baseball games, but something tells me a football game is going to be a little bit different.

From watching TV to reading web comics to seeing people in bars and restaurants when the game is on, I have formed a certain set of opinions on what a real-live football game is going to be like. Fellow sports dummies, feel free to play along at home and assess your own expectations for this bizarre cultural pastime.

First, I expect noise. I expect ground-shaking, earth-shattering noise. I imagine people are screaming, a good portion of them intoxicated. I’m picturing people ripping their shirts off to reveal full Cougar body paint while screaming gutturally.

I’m positive this is completely accurate.

Secondly, I expect people to be discussing the game. I expect people to know what they’re talking about while I sit in a lonely circle of cultural isolation, unable to participate in aggressive arguments about referees’ calls.

I fully expect people to hate the referees. People always do.

I additionally expect there to be some violence. I’ve heard many a tale about the aggressive high-five that ended in a black eye. I have this picture in my mind of a football high-five that is one part hand and one part face.

Third, I expect to learn a lot. My dad knows his way around a football game, so this should be pretty educational. Whenever I usually watch football, I usually find that I know a good deal more about the players’ arrest record than their football records. It’ll be nice to see the players from the stands, not the police logs.

Finally, I’m expecting a lot of confusion. I’ve seen snapshots on TV showing students shouting and shaking their keys; what is that about? What is that supposed to accomplish? I’ve also seen people waving their arms in the flapping jaws of an arm-shark.

I have absolutely no idea what that means.

This should be a pretty educational experience, Cougs. Sports dummies who’ve never been to a game, feel free to let me know what your expectations would be. I’m anxiously awaiting finding out if this noisy, complicated, confusing, violent battlefield is everything I expect it to be. I’ll let you know next week what I find out.

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