Flashback to the beginning of the semester: it’s the day of the BC vs. Villanova football game, and everyone is hyped to watch the Eagles take down the Wildcats in the first home game of the season. It’s sunny and 80 degrees outside: perfect weather to watch some football. The student section of Alumni Stadium is packed with kids, each wearing their respective graduating class’s SuperFan t-shirt, in the obnoxious yellow hue that we have all come to know and love.
My roommate and I squeeze ourselves into the student section, two rows up from the end zone. Immediately, we are immersed into the crowd, with no possible hope of ever getting out—and the knowledge that if we do manage to do so, we will never get back in. We step up onto the metal benches, and my knees immediately lock. For the next few hours, the majority of my concentration will be focused upon maintaining my balance, and not taking an elbow to the head.
The game kicks off, and the student section erupts with an enthusiasm that will remain strong throughout the next four quarters. Do I have any idea what’s going on in the game? Nope. Most of the time, I am more concerned with socializing with the people both in front of and behind me than I am with the actual game.
I miss some of the exciting plays because I can’t see the field from where I am standing (tip: sometimes, the nosebleed seats are the best place to experience the game from—as I learned on parents’ weekend during the game against Florida State), or because there are six drunk guys jostling in front of me, trying to get on camera to show off the letters “E-A-G-L-E-S” written on their bare chests (really original, I know).
My general thought process throughout the game includes:
What does that rule even mean?
What is a field goal, really?
You’re screaming in my ear. Annnd now you’re stepping on my foot.
Exactly how many beers did you drink on Shea Field before this?
My back is killing me.
Will I be harassed if I sit down right now?
Whoops… missed that touchdown. But I’m totally gonna cheer and pretend like I wasn't checking Twitter.
Halftime rolls around, and I get the blessed opportunity to sit down. My ankles and knees creak in protest as I lower myself onto the bench, having been actively attempting to keep me upright for the last hour and a half. As soon as I am comfortably seated, I feel raindrops wetting my SuperFan T-shirt—increasing in frequency until it is full-on pouring. My freshman friends and I make the executive decision that we have stayed for long enough, and we make the long trek back to Upper in the rain.
My first football game was not exactly Earth-shatteringly awesome, but I had fun meeting new people who were all united under the common bond of SuperFandom (and yes, occasionally watching the game). Despite my complaints about the negative aspects of BC sporting events, the experiences that I have had thus far have been incredibly rewarding in the sense that they make me feel like I belong to something bigger than myself.
From the day of the Villanova game, I was no longer an individual freshman feeling lost in the blur of college life, but a member of the huge fan base that is BC Athletics. This sentimental feeling has continued into my first hockey season, and I’ll never miss a game. As our song goes, “Here, all are one.”
Having said that, it is important to remember: a SuperFan is a SuperFan. Don’t patronize me because my knowledge of the rules of football is a bit blurry, or because I am not always investing my full attention in the game at hand.
If you eat, sleep and breathe BC sports, you are a SuperFan.
If you just show up to the games for the social interaction, you are a SuperFan.
If you are a five year-old kid sitting up in the cheap seats waving a foam finger with no comprehension of the game, you are a SuperFan.
Together, we are all SuperFans, united by the common goal of cheering the Eagles on to victory.
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