As you know, I took the fam to the BYU/UConn game last Friday. It had been over seven years since I’d last been to a BYU game, and I’d been looking forward to a chance to take the kids out and show them what they’d been missing. We’ve gone to some high school games, but there’s a big difference to be out in a large stadium with a huge crowd.
We had a really good time, despite some speed bumps. For one thing, Rentschler Field is just horrendous, from a logistical point of view. They close some of the roads down in the surrounding area at game time, and then parking is an absolute nightmare. It’s in the middle of this old air field, so there’s plenty of open space, but they make you park *way* out in the middle of nowhere, and then walk. And walk. And walk. Through a field that hadn’t been mowed in a week or so. When you get to the gate, there are just a few ways into the stadium, and you’ve got complete chaos getting in. Real roadblock. And then you’ve got beer being sold in the stands, which makes for a more . . . exuberant home crowd than might be preferable. (Selling alcohol at a university makes little sense to me. Most of the student body can’t drink legally, but I guess if it’s what the alumni want, then that’s how it’s going to go. And I suppose if your team’s getting pummeled, it’s easier to watch it happen drunk than it is sober. Or so I’ve been told.)
But despite all that, it really was a great evening. We’d bought our tickets through BYU, so we were in the middle of the BYU section. BYU fans from hours away had shown up–there were people there I knew from Maine to Pennsylvania, which was pretty cool. And because it was a good old fashioned drubbing, spirits were quite high in the BYU section for the whole time. (Note: I don’t think it was nearly as much fun for the poor UConn fans who happened to be sitting next to the BYU section. And I felt kind of bad about that–they were very vocal whenever UConn did something good, and I tend to think it was because they were trying to show the away crowd that they could celebrate too. I didn’t see any BYU fans being obnoxious about celebrating, but when you’ve got a whole slew of fans packed together, obnoxious sort of grows organically, and there’s not much you can do about it.)
BYU fans going to the Texas game on Saturday might have a very different experience. I can’t imagine that one will be a blow out (in BYU’s favor at any rate)–as much as I enjoy watching close games, they can be a real beast to endure, and if you lose . . . no one likes that long ride home thinking about how you could have changed the outcome the whole time.
The kids had a great time for most of it, though by the end they were tired of being there. It was quite noisy, and they still don’t really understand what’s happening on the field. One day, perhaps. I kept trying to explain it all to them, but I’m not sure how much it helped. MC didn’t really cry at all, though. She was excited to see all the sights and sounds, but Denisa did have to take her for a fair number of walks before the night was over. (Big bonus points to Denisa for tolerating American football as much as she does.)
Anyway–it was a very fun start to the season, and here’s hoping the team’s pretty solid from here on out.