Friday, November 12, 2010

Saturday, November 5th - Oy

Twas the hour before kickoff and all through Rice Eccles
All the fans had donned black and prepared their best heckles
The Horned Frogs were coming, ranked number three
We hoped the Utes would emerge victoriously
The crowd was in place, the fight song had been sung
We were ready for our team to tackle, pass and run
The ball was kicked off and the crowd seemed to swell
And then that dumb game went completely to…..

Normally I keep my sports thoughts to my sports blog...but this post isn't going to be focused on the game (because I'm still not really ready to talk about it). It's more a Philosophical musing about large sporting events and why we attend (like lambs to the slaughter in some cases).

The game last week allowed me to get a little perspective on the strange customs and rituals that are such a part of our sporting experiences. For example, by the end of the third quarter there was clearly no hope for a comeback (no matter how many bad habits I insisted I was willing to give up for a little divine intervention) and an interesting thing happened. The crowd seemed totally separated from the team on the field. Normally at these games it feels like we're all on the same team, willing the people who actually play on with our yells and dances and chants etc. 

Then, the 'Crazy Lady' (picture here) got up to do her dance that she always does and for the first time, she literally seemed crazy. I sat there and realized that this was actually just a woman, dancing in front of 40,000 people, just because she always does.In the context of a football game it always seemed like a cool tradition....sort of the older generation of fans (her) reaching out and showing the new kids (the MUSS) how its done. But on Saturday, by the time she got up to do her thing, there really wasn't a game going on, and I found myself sitting amidst a bunch of strangers watching an old lady dance. 

I suppose it was more realistic this way. Normally we have some illusions about our importance as fans, and our involvement in the wins, and we have a feeling of being a part of 'the team'. But in this game there were no such illusions. There was all this pent-up energy and nowhere to use it (except for booing our quarterback and yelling at the coaches and walking back to our cars).