As an undergrad, I would have shied away from the chaos and crowds associated with a football game-day. It was just another event on-campus, after all. I took it for granted that there would be another game next week, or perhaps next year. Now though, commuting to campus takes much more of an effort.
Also, I get the sense that football games were not as large of event on-campus those days. While still stirring up an air of excitement, it seems to me it was on a smaller scale. It’s true that I’m now surrounded by people who are much more passionate about the game than I was before, and I’ve followed Cal football for a much longer period of time. More importantly, however… well, the previous five years in which I was a student were not exactly Cal football’s glory days. Now, with hopes of a trip to Pasadena in January, campus just feels energized.
Studying certainly was a challenge in this setting. While I managed to squeeze in a team meeting and a study group at a café after the review, the first football game of the year was not far from everyone’s minds. It didn’t take long for conversation to move from economics to the game, leading to perhaps the inevitable comment, “We really should be holding beers while we’re talking about this.”
A quick stroll to Raleigh’s (or whatever it’s called now) and we were in the back cheering with the crowd as people yelled, “Hey Alumni, Goooo….”, “Bearrsssss!” etc etc. Maryland fans tried to have their say, but were drowned out fairly quickly. It was chaotic, it was fun, and I loved every minute of it. Go Bears!