ATX Lifestyle

How to live in Texas as a non-football junkie

I hate football. There — I said it.

Or maybe I don’t hate football. I don’t really know, to be honest. Growing up, even in a state as pigskin-aholic as Texas, my family never watched football, so I guess I just have a strong distaste towards football. I had some family members that watched it whenever there was a family reunion, but I don’t remember a single time in my entire childhood where my immediate family sat down and watched a game.

Story by Forrest Milburn

Photo courtesy of randallmetting.com
Photo courtesy of randallmetting.com

I guess I was just never really interested in the idea of football, or sports at all. I remember one time in elementary school, I wore an orange jacket that I got at the thrift store since it was really soft, and one of my classmates that day came over to me and told me how much she “loved the Longhorns.”

I had no idea why this crazy girl was complimenting me on my taste for jackets with images of longhorns on them, with “Texas” written in white lettering, but I responded in the only way I could.

“Really? I’ve never seen one of those out in the open. Do they have them at a ranch nearby?”

After that, she sort of just walked off.

Honestly, it kind of sucks living in Texas and not liking football. You don’t really want to go over to anyone’s house since you know they’re all watching the Dallas Cowboys play whomever, and they know not to invite you since you’ll annoyingly be asking them what happened every single time the crowd cheers.

Photo courtesy of dailybruin.com
Photo courtesy of dailybruin.com

However, being in my high school’s marching band for four years did teach me how to cope with the idea of watching two teams throw a ball back and forth for five hours. My tips may not be able to help any of you who go to UT Austin, since I’ve only seen high school football, but maybe it’ll help you survive.

1) The Food.

Whenever I got bored at a game, which was often, I would come down to where the bathrooms were, and I would pass by the smells of nachos, pickles and freshly-popped popcorn, as well as pass by the huge line of hungry parents and community members just itching to get their hands on a Twix bar — or two. Sure, the food isn’t made by a chef, but it’s kind of cool being able to eat food from a concession stand at a football game. On a freezing winter night, sometimes the best thing to do at a football game is to pick up a warm tortilla chip, smothered in hot, cheesy goodness, and, if you’re lucky, chili, and pop it into your mouth.

2) The crowds.

Sure, most of the time I had no idea why my side of the crowd was even screaming and cheering, but I sure as hell cheered with them. You could say it was a sort of “pride” in my school whenever I got the urge to cheer whenever the crowd cheered. Although I had to turn to my friends afterwards and ask them what happened, it was still a great experience being able to feel the stands shake from the ecstatic energy of the crowd, especially when the game was super close and your team made that one touchdown to secure a spot in the playoffs. Also, if you’re lucky, you might even be able to see a fight break out.

3) The friends.

There are times when I sit back and wonder, “Where would I be today if it weren’t

for marching band?” I guess this question could be the same if I replaced “marching band” with “football,” but either way, the answer is still the same: “I don’t know.” It kind of scares me, because I met some of the best people in the entire world through marching band, and some of the greatest memories with them, and even the greatest out of my entire high school career, were made at a high school football game. Every time we’d play the fight song whenever we’d score a touchdown? It would’ve never happened.

If you ever find yourself in the position of buying a ticket at the ticket booth of a football stadium, just know that the world as you know it is not over. You’ll be alright. If you want, go with a group of friends, or maybe just go alone and try to meet someone new. It’s alright to freak out with everyone else, even if you don’t understand why. And please make sure you try something from the concession stand; you won’t regret it.

You might even realize you don’t actually hate football.

Featured image courtesy of randallmetting.com

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