I’ve decided to share with everyone some of my weekend trips. This one is actually about sports, specifically football.
Big trips are fantastic but they are expensive, even when you know what you are doing to find deals. I save up for big trips but in the meant time I take little trips to calm my wanderlust. These are my weekend wanderings. My last two weekend trips have been on opposite ends of my home state of Texas. The first weekend of October 2017 I was in Galveston and the second weekend of the month I was in Amarillo. Funny enough I was in both places for the same reason: football. The really funny thing is that I don’t even really like football. So why did I travel to see these games you ask? Well there are several reasons. To calm my wanderlust as I stated above, to see family and friends, and lastly because live sporting events have an energy that I do enjoy.
My boyfriend, Keltin, and I went to Houston to watch the Texans v. Chiefs Sunday night game. He is from Kansas and is a huge Chiefs fan. We had asked my stepdad, Dave, a few weeks earlier if he could get us tickets and he managed a whole lot more than that. Dave works for a big company, and that means corporate tickets. They are the best. Not only were our seats in a luxury suite but there were also two field passes for Keltin and I before the game. I wish I could have seen Keltin’s face when I told him but sadly I have no self control when it comes to surprises, so I called him right after Dave told me.
I joke that football is a religion and professional football is in its own way. Players are saints, owners are gods and each giant stadium is a place of worship. This was my first professional football game. Being on the field before pregame, while the players are warming up, and sports broadcasters are making their predictions is kind of invigorating. To me, it was complete chaos but these people knew what they were doing for sure. Being on the field also gives the common person the opportunity to meet people that you would not normally be able to. Keltin got to have a long conversation with B.J. Kissel, The Official Chiefs Reporter. According to Keltin he is a great guy who took an interest in what Keltin had to say.
We caught a glimpse of Al Michaels, Cris Collingsworth, and Mike Tirico before and after their NBC pregame show. We tried to meet them but sadly, did not manage it. The entire time we were standing on the sidelines Keltin was grinning from ear to ear. It was adorable and completely worth it. We also both got to shake hands with the owner of the Chiefs, Clark Hunt. For Keltin, there was no crowning moment; just being there was everything. To me it was neat but I didn’t know which players I was watching warm-up. I didn’t recognize sports casters and writers after years of watching and reading their work. For Keltin this experience was about getting to meet people who inspired him and, for a moment, thrive off the energy that they experienced every week for 20 weeks or more every year.
Spoiler Alert! The Chiefs beat the Texans in Houston 42 to 34. Texans fans were not happy; Keltin was overjoyed. I know that the Texans fans were cheering for the Texans and Chief fans for the Chiefs but when their cheers blend together I don’t think the players care who the cheers are meant for. They are playing and there is cheering, that is what matters. Despite not really liking football I found my self cheering with the crowd. I was swept up in their energy, their excitement. This is why I like sporting events.
This last weekend Keltin and I made the drive to Canyon, Texas for the West Texas A&M University 2017 Homecoming game against Adam State. I had actually decided to go back to WT for Homecoming months ago because my best friends were all going to be in town. Most of them don’t like football either. Keltin and I both graduated from WT. He has a BS in Sports Broadcasting. I have a BA in English.
The original plan was for him to sit with me and our group of friends and maybe go on to the field a bit. That plan got dashed though when a friend of his asked if he wanted to do the color commentary for KWTS, the university radio station. Keltin is a sweetheart and worried about me but I encouraged him to do it because I know how much he loves it. The WT side of the stands was packed, while the Adam State side was fairly empty. The players knew who we were cheering for. That didn’t stop Adam State from doing their best to try and beat us. WT managed a victory for the first time in three years: 17-14. I did not watch much of this game. It was more like I shifted my attention to the game when the crowd’s energy and noise level told me I should. The rest of the time I talked to friends and took pictures. This was a game that I should have cared more about but it didn’t hold my attention.
Football is not a sport that I can watch on TV, it will put me to sleep. However, a good game, in person will hold my attention. I do love the emotions that run through the crowd and on occasions that is enough to get me to go to a live football game. Let me know what you think in the comments section.
**All photos by Laci McGee except the photo of me taken by Keltin.