Hating football doesn’t mean it can’t be fun

Stephanie Markham, Editor-and-Chief

Back when I was the editor of The Verge, someone suggested I include tips on how to tailgate in the issue we published right before the first home football game.

I thought this was a good idea based on the interests of our readers, but I had no idea how to go about it.

I wasn’t exactly an expert on the subject. As someone who doesn’t watch sports, drink beer or eat meat, I did not have much insight into that particular ritual.

We ended up including a story in which we asked students about their tailgating memories and traditions.

They recalled enjoying barbeques, showing school spirit or city pride, and watching on the edges of their seats for scoreboards to change.

Since then I’ve realized a few things about the phenomenon that is sports culture.

Even though I’ll most likely never catch on to the craze, I can understand why people do.

The biggest reason I can figure it is tradition, and some others include bonding with family and friends, appreciating the incredible physical feats of athletes, and analyzing the complexities of game strategies.

I’ve also learned that you don’t have to be a super-fan to squeeze some type of fun out of football season.

You can bring whatever food you want to a tailgate; it doesn’t have to be the typical burgers and hot dogs.

Take an ice cream cake to the tailgate if you really want to. Melting might be a problem, but the point is you can take part in these activities without doing them exactly the way they are usually done.

You can create your own traditions using old ones to inspire you.

To me, watching a football game is like listening to a lecture in Spanish. I get that things are happening and people around me seem to be following along, but I just don’t speak the language.

I don’t find sports interesting generally, so I don’t care to try too hard to understand.

However, I have been to some games since I’ve been at Eastern, and it is possible to have a good time even if you have no idea what’s going on.

After all, we all pay an athletics fee whether or not we are involved in any sports, so we might as well get something out of it.

A football game can give you and your group of friends an excuse to avoid homework for one more day and a reason to get together and chill.

Some of your sports-literate friends may be able to guide you though the plays, and you might actually find that you spark a slight interest in whether the Panthers win or lose.

If not, you can simply hang out and talk about which football players/ Pink Panthers/ members of the marching band you find most attractive. Everybody does it.

The point is, don’t be closed off to enjoying certain things just because it isn’t your scene. Learn to make your own fun wherever you are.


Stephanie Markham is a senior journalism major.

She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].