C’mon Be Happy: Attend a College Sporting Event

2 Nov

I am a sports fan, plan and simple. My childhood was filled with sports. I played softball (wish it was baseball), volleyball and was on the swim team. But more importantly (in my eyes at least) I watched and was a fan of sports. I am from Connecticut so I am a UConn basketball fan. If there was a game, my parents had it on the TV. It did not matter if it was men’s basketball or women’s (although men’s is way more interesting). And both teams were national powerhouses which made it even more exciting to watch. In addition, my parents took my brother and I to Hartford Wolf Pack games, the AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers during the winter. In the summer, we went to New Britain and watched David Ortiz, Nick Punto, Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Torii Hunter on the Rock Cats, the AA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

Gampel Pavilion, UConn. It may not look like much now, but imagine when it is full of dedicated, passionate fans.

Sports have always been a huge part of me, they are the reason I am who I am. And my love and appreciation for them has not changed because I am in Boston. I have actually fallen more in love with sports. So, I encourage you to experience a sporting event in Boston. But not a professional one, no Bruins or Celtics. Let’s keep it cheap, local and authentic.

So pick a college, any college, and buy a ticket with your friend. If you have an allegiance to a school, go to an event at that one, but if you don’t choose any. The feeling when sitting in a college arena or stadium is unmatched. The passion and commitment that resonates from the crowd and the students is like nothing I have ever experienced before. The unity that a sports team and event creates is unbelievable and tear-jerking.

This all sounds swell, I know, but why would you waste your time? Because Boston has some pretty f-ing good teams! Four area schools (Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern and Harvard) are NCAA Division I. Boston College has a fairly high ranked football and basketball program (this is killing me to type this) that produces some outstanding athletes (some how) such as Doug Flutie and Jared Dudley. The Division I hockey champion has come from Boston for the past three years: BC, BU and BC. Both programs are among the best in the country, if not the best. They have produced NHL players (and captains), Olympians and Hall of Famers. And not just two or three, but dozens. Northeastern and Harvard are up there as well. Each school has their own space in the Boston athletic realm and they all contribute something unique and special.

BU Coach Jack Parker and BC Coach Jerry York before the Frozen Fenway game in January 2010

So, if you are bored one Saturday and want to get out of the house, look up some schedules and go to a game. I attend BU and attend all hockey games there as well as a few basketball (it pains me to watch them sometimes because I did grow up watching such a high level of college basketball). But I have also gone to a BC football game, Northeastern hockey game and Harvard basketball game. If you feel strongly about one school, cheer against them; if you don’t care just enjoy the game and seeing (perhaps) future athletes refine their skills.

Of course if you are not interested in these sports, colleges have many other sports teams which are listed on their athletic sites. Then there are some unconventional sports such as Quidditch. But…

Trust me, the feeling you have when the student section(s) go ballistic after a basket/touchdown/goal was scored is amazing. Happiness fills the air, and after all, isn’t that what this time of year is all about?

Oh, and college games are much cheaper than professional teams, the setting is more intimate and you can usually get tickets at the last minute. Convinced?

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