Red faces in a sea of blue shirts


I look westward to the colosseum of football and I am nearly blinded, falling to my knees onto the wet grass. An entire square mile was smitten by the brightness of what looked like God’s headlights. The lights colluded with the golden peach clouds to foreshadow the magnitude of the evening.

I buy my ticket and enter the ride. Children sprint past me, smiling as they pretend to kill each other. The brightness can be felt on my skin as I sojourn into the sacred student section.

Upon slithering into the front row, I am surrounded by some 170 cherub-faced renegades, squelching for blood in the name of school spirit until their arteries blared and spit made liftoff from their mouths. Glitter sharpened their faces like cheddar cheese. If I was not already aware of the brutal sanctity of football, I’m sure this sight would more than educate me.

The depth and frequency of the shouts and chants that I would come to call their rituals was eternal throughout the game. Every time I regained my bearings, I was hit with a new taunt.

Every step taken by the quarterback was hawk-eyed by the the horde, their faces sordid with cell phones. This, however, did nothing to deter the hoedown in the bleachers. Many things were hoisted above the crowd and handed up the metal mountain. Backpacks, people, and one lucky trashcan all made their pilgrimage towards the sky.

Soon loss was rank in the air, and our end zone was a barren wasteland. The incumbent spirit director and hype man, Uncle Tangerine, brandished nearly two dozen blue plastic trumpets and silver noisemakers and distributed them amongst the front row in retaliation.  

It was only after a 40-point score gap and an astroturf melee, that the horde understood the game as over. Though this whole affair could be whittled down to the loss of a battle, the events following the mass exodus of the stadium showed me that it was also the beginning of a war.

Fast forward 30 minutes. The cream of the crowd’s crop had congregated in the parking lot, their cars positioned to created a massive pit illuminated by the dusty gleam of their high beams. Everybody gathered in the pit and engaged in a continuous fit of dancing and hooliganism. I could not tell you how long this lasted. The wilderness of sweat and music shook me in its hands like a pair of dice. Before I knew it, the collective fear of the cops came to a head, and I was left groggy on the asphalt as everybody peeled away. Rebel yells and squealing tires reverberated into the void of the night.