Monday, September 27, 2010

College Football Revisited, via Penn State

I'm nothing if I'm not fair. As I said in my very first post about the U.K. Office, I like to give things a fair shake before I trash them completely. So, I'm willing to say that college football is an incredible experience. Now, let's not get confused and think this post is a retraction on my previous stance about why college football is such a waste.

I still believe college football is as mis-managed and inappropriately exploited as a sport can be, but dang, it sure is fun to watch live.

Two weekends ago my wife, a group of our friends, and I traveled north to attend the Penn State v. Kent State game at State College. Let me tell you, D-1 college football games are other worldly. Where else do you get 100,000 people with flailing extremities who are singing songs, wearing paint in odd places and acting totally uninhibited? (Yes, I'm setting myself up....follow along).

Places that happens:
- A Jonas Brother's Concert
- A gay bar
- A regular bar
- A surprise party for Kanye West
- A press conference where Brett Favre announces his retirement because his legs were chewed off by a grizzly bear
- Lady Gaga's living room on a Tuesday afternoon
- My living room while watching a taped Hanson concert
- The bedroom of Dallas Cowboys fans as they stare into the eyes of their Tony Romo fathead
- A kindergarten class room and
- My college dorm room on any given Friday night. Only, it wasn't 100,000 people it was just 1 person. Whatever.

The point is, among other things, I saw a crowd of people do the wave in slow-motion (impossible to accurately describe, a million times cooler than it sounds), sing "Living on a Prayer" acapella for a full verse and chorus, and an epic walk of shame at 8:30am.

In order for you to enjoy the day as much as I did, here's a recap of my trip in Twitter form. We used this gimmick once before, so re-read this if you forget how it works. Again, this is just more reason to follow me on Twitter, @Quickdraw33

Hash-tagged #thoughtsfrompennstate, here's the day's adventures with my added input in italics. Pardon the misspellings and lack of capitalization, I'm trying to make things feel authentic.

-"Today is 'act like you really are a penn state fan so no beers are thrown at you' day #thoughtsfrompennstate"

- "for this being nittany lion country there arent as many quilts or knit sweaters as i imagined #thoughtsfrompennstate" I never said I was funny at 7am.

- "with 100,000 orange cones and 1,000 officers, navigating penn state on game day is a greek tragedy #thoughtsfrompennstate" One second we were on campus right next to the stadium, and two seconds later were cruising through the hills and our driver said, "That's the slaughter house down there." You just can't make this stuff up.

- "just saw the first walk of shame of the day! girl carrying heels, wearing a dress, tshirt over the dress on celly. #thoughtsfrompennstate" I could not have been laughing harder. It was text book college movie level stuff. Disheveled clothes, t-shirt trying to cover up the fact that she was wearing a "going-out" dress, on her cell phone calling her roommate to come pick her up at 8:30 in the morning. What a show.

- "nothing says im wasting my life like looking like the Situation and carrying a case of bud light lime #thoughtsfrompennstate" I hope I'm there the first time a midget punches him in the face. I feel like that's probably the route his life is headed, multiple punches to the head. I can only hope.

- "breakfast convo w @WesBunting covered fried candy bars, sausage, peeing the bed, brandon jackson, and shake weights #thoughtsfrompennstate"  My fantasy nerds will know who Brandon Jackson is.

- "look pal, i'm not buying OR selling tickets! leave me alone. #thoughtsfrompennstate" College football games are just one big hustle. I haven't felt like such a piece of meat since I played "Poultry" in my elementary school's production of "The Food Pyramid".

- "hasnt every school adopted the "We are (school name)" motto? i'm bored of it. find another way to amuse me. #thoughtsfrompennstate" We are Penn State. We are Marshall. We are Virginia Tech. We are not creative. How about, "We are...going to kick your butts at football today and your team looks like a women's fencing club."

- "omg...penn state student section just did a slo-mo wave. college football is incerdible. #thoughtsfrompennstate" It caused me to say "omg" in a tweet. No one act has made me gayer since Benji won season two of 'So You Think You Can Dance". 

- "i stood up to celebrate a psu interception and someone yelled down in front. not all penn state fans are cool. #thoughtsfrompennstate" This might be the one thing that keeps me from being a full time Penn State fan. Some of the fans kind of suck. Then again, a 40+ year old mom was singing "Living on a Prayer" full-out with me. I'm still split.

- "the water vendor has sold out of water 4 rows in front of us 5 times. im going to the concession stand. #thoughtsfrompennstate" Which prompted this tweet from my good friend Eric Creasman, "They sell water at sporting events?!?! #thoughtsfrommargaritaville" Love that guy.

- "kent state's mascot is the gold flashes...thats not a mascot, thats what happens when i show you my teeth!!! #thoughtsfrompennstate"

- "@WesBunting just described a player as body like tarzan, plays like jane. #thoughtsfrompennstate" I'm sure this is common scout jargon, but I thought the world needed to hear it. I have a body like Jane, and I play like Jane's little sister.

- "i learned penn state is the place to go to win a natl title in women's volleyball, fencing, and women's track #thoughtsfrompennstate" Among other sports no one watches. In other news, I won the national title for snide remarks. They gave me a banner, a sash, and three coupons for free Frosties from Wendy's.

- "1 reason i like college football, this stadium holds over 110,000. cowboys cant do that with their "standing room" #thoughtsfrompennstate" Did I mention I hate Dallas? Also, to explain breifly: Cowboys Stadium tries to boast the largest seating in the NFL at 110,000. In reality, however, the stadium holds 80,000 seats and offers "standing room" for fans. So you can pay full price for a ticket and go stand behind 30,000 of your closest friends. They suck.

- "the entire stadium just sang living on a prayer acapella. i now love college football. #thoughtsfrompennstate" Mark this as the official turning point.

- "every penn state game ive ever been to has been a shutout. i'm 1-0 #thoughtsfrompennstate" Fact.

- "me and my opponent drained 6 out of 8 bags in cornhole, we're beasts #thoughtsfrompennstate" Tailgating continues after the game. My career as a cornhole player begins today.

- "im pretty sure i saw people tailgating at a gas station...on the way 9pm #thoughtsfrompennstate" Did I mention we were an hour and a half away from campus? Gotta love college football.

And the final tweet of the weekend, after a full day at the game and driving three and a half hours back home immediately afterwards, I said this to Michele...

- "i'm tired...i just said "my mouth function has not worked" and corrected myself to say "my mouth has not worth" #thoughtsfrompennstate" And I was completely sober.

And that's why you should go to a Division 1 college football game.

Not that the game will matter, because a group of stubborn boneheads will just vote on who's good and who isn't good so they can determine a champion instead of implementing a fair system. But whatever, its only one of the most popular sports in America.

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