Doing Battle on the Football Field

I attended the Texas Bowl yesterday, where I cheered the University of Illinois Fighting Illini on to victory.  It was incredibly fun, but I also had an interesting insight.  Football is a little like war.

It has probably been said multiple times.  This is not a new concept.  The piece that I realized came when Kamryn, a friend of mine, said that she was surprised at how emotionally involved she got in the game.  She is a U of I alum, and I grew up cheering for the Illini at home basketball games.  As she started late at the school (she was a transfer student) her school spirit was somewhat less than other graduates of the university (like my dad).  I may have been a die-hard Illini fan as a child, but I went to a completely different university and now have my own favorite teams.  Neither of us had attended any type of Illinois sporting event for years.

Yet somehow we were both on our feet, swaying to “Hail to the orange” and yelling “I-N-I!”  Even though we were sitting surrounded by Baylor fans, the memories of cheering and singing came back, and the adrenaline rush of watching our team score a touchdown filled both of us. 

This is how football feels like war.  We are loyal to a “side,” and even if our loyalty is fleeting, it is all-consuming.  The other team becomes the “bad guys” for the duration of the event, and while no one wishes injury or death on the opposition, you are cheering with great sincerity for them to lose.

An interesting perspective to keep in mind as I am preparing to write a battle of my own.  🙂

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