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Essential items to bring to a home football game

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Cougar fans celebrate their team at a WSU vs. UI game last September.

Cougar fans celebrate their team at a WSU vs. UI game last September.

JESSICA HARJA | Daily Evergreen file

JESSICA HARJA | Daily Evergreen file

Cougar fans celebrate their team at a WSU vs. UI game last September.

JACOB MOORE, Evergreen recreation editor

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Martin Stadium may be negligible in size compared to other Pac-12 football venues, but WSU home games are no joke. There are tangibles and intangibles that all game-goers need to remember.

Keys

Incoming freshmen are going to learn that there’s more to football games than just attending. For example, I always remember to bring some keys.

When the Cougars are punting or kicking off, fans “rattle” their keys in the air with the goal of rattling opposing players. Effective or not, you can certainly hear a jingle around the stadium as fans participate in one of the many traditions.

However, if you’re clumsy or afraid you might lose your keys at Martin Stadium, you shouldn’t bring them. It’s not going to change the outcome of the game if you don’t bring your keys.

Sports Pass or Ticket

To get into Martin Stadium, you need a sports pass (Cougar Card) or game day ticket. So, you’ll obviously want to remember your admission.

There’s nothing worse than missing the first half of a game because of a forgotten Cougar Card.

And just for reference, once you have entered the stadium on game day, there is no re-entry. Many fans had issues with this rule last season when they left the game during halftime, but were denied entry at the start of the second half.

Money

Once you’ve shuffled into the stadium and found a proper place to take in the atmosphere, there’s a good chance you’ll want something to munch on. Even if you’re on the fence about spending money, it’s smart and safe to bring $10.

Football games usually last around three hours long. So, just because you’re not hungry before kickoff doesn’t mean you’ll feel that way by the fourth quarter.

The scent of pretzels, hot cheese and chili dogs can be tempting. I’ve found myself with an empty stomach and an empty wallet all too often. It’s not an enjoyable experience — especially if the Cougs are losing.

WSU gear, warm clothes and blankets

The first home game or two (or five) is typically warmer because they’re at the back end of summer. But the football season runs through fall and into winter so, dress for the occasion.

Weather forecasts are convenient and it’s highly recommended that everyone checks them before attending a game. That will influence a lot of attire decisions you make. For example, if it’s supposed to rain or be cold, wear a rain jacket and dress in layers.

Personally, I almost always like to dress in layers regardless of the forecast. Night games can get chilly despite everyone’s body heat. Therefore, I’ll usually wear a short sleeve shirt under a throw-over or jacket. If it’s warm, then I’ll simply take off the second layer.

Whatever you do wear, though, make sure you take this chance to show off your school pride. If you aren’t sporting any Cougar gear, then you’re doing football games wrong. Even if this means bringing a WSU blanket because you don’t have any Cougar gear, which is basically a sin.

Charged Phone

This is another one of those items that can probably be implied without saying. It’s rare for somebody to forget their phone in 2017.

I’ve noticed that the mistake most people make is that they don’t have a charged phone.

You never know when you’re going to need to contact your friends or someone inside the stadium. It’s best to be prepared.

Plus, if you’re like most millennials, then you’ll want some evidence that you went to the game via photos or social media posts. You can’t take advantage of this opportunity if you leave your phone at home, or worse, bring a phone that you can’t use.

Bring the noise

Cougar fans know how to bring the noise. That’s the most important thing you need to know about attending home football games. At the very least, bring your voice with you.

Let go of the stresses that come with college or work by letting loose and supporting your team. Whether the defense is out, a giant play just unfolded in front of your eyes or WSU added some points, be loud.

Upping the decibel level benefits the players because it conveys that you’re supporting them. It shows that you want to be a part of the program and that you care about the work athletes are putting in. That kind of fandom rarely go unnoticed.

WSU redshirt senior running back Gerard Wicks sometimes bursts through the opposing team. He describes the emotion of riding the crowd noise to the end zone as a “natural high.”

Don’t fret if you’ve lost your voice by the end of the game, that’s normal.

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