I find attending Iowa Hawkeye games thoroughly entertaining. I’ve been going since I was old enough to walk. My dad and I, or sometimes one of my grandfathers, would make the pilgrimage to Iowa City to see the pride of Iowa football.
As I started attending Iowa State University, my focus directed to my future alma mater. Since graduation two years ago, my frequency of football game matches hit an all time low. Yesterday was my first game of the season.
What I find shocking about these games, amongst the hundreds of memories I have, is the passion of the fans. All sporting events have their share of similar experiences. Most difficult to swallow at yesterday’s game was two men in particular. The former I had the misfortune of being near the year previous, but the other gentleman was a new edition to the circus of wacky spectating.
The first man understood football on a competent level. Despite his education and his elder age, he only vocalized a single phase in support. Regardless of the circumstances, he would shout a single phrase on repeat. All he said was, “Go Hawks Go.”
At first it made perfect sense. But as the game wore on he never deviated. What became cringe-inducing was his insistence on cramming the phrase in as many times between the huddle and hike. His parrot-like delivery made the bitter cold of late November weather almost unbearable. Yesterday, he was a few persons down from us, no doubt torturing those around him. I’d rather be waterboarded then hear that man again.
The other individual was closer to my age. His shouts and cheers were the antithesis of rooting for your team. Each remark that he projected came coated in prickly intentions. Almost clever epithets and backhanded compliments poured from his lips. With the appearance of a man who struggles with the word no, he proclaimed his ignorance for people five rows away to sample.
These men, and the countless other examples of buffoonery permeate our world today. But our codependency on smartphones only disconnect us from the absurdity going on around us. Like sporting events, life is best experienced live instead of on a screen.
In a world where horrible, tasteless things can be “forgiven” with a canned apology, it’s important to live the immediacy of life. Watch the game; don’t miss the spectacle.