Saturday, November 19, 2005

The (Am)Big(uously Interesting) Game

The "Big Game" kicks off in three hours. But, the tailgating here started at the crack of dawn. It took me almost a half-hour to drive through the drunken revelry this morning. I was hit with a brief flashback to my own college days way back all of, say, six months ago.

Supposedly, Stanford-Cal is one of the best rivalries in college football. Anyone who is even marginally familiar with sports has probably seen the clip of Cal's last second touchdown run through a Stanford marching band mistakenly on the field. Today, they're expecting an attendance of about 80,000 people.

80,000.

If so, that would make today's matchup the largest spectator event that I've ever attended. By comparison, Yankee Stadium only sits about 50,000. So, it's a little confusing to me as an avid sports fan, why I'm not hyped about it at all. But, as far as I can tell, the problem is two-fold.

One, I'm suffering from an unwavering East coast bias. I can think of a dozen sports teams that I have a more vested interest in than the Stanford Cardinal. I almost feel like I'm heading to the game today merely out of curiosity. You know that "rubber necking" instinct that causes drivers to slow and gawk at an accident on the side of the road? That's basically the impetus driving me to attend this afternoon. This game, as huge as it is to locals, just has no natural appeal to me. Period. It's kind of like rooting for Armenia to recapture their ancient lands from heated border rival, Azerbaijan. Who really cares?

Two, I think that the grad/undergrad divide is also a pretty huge barrier to my excitement. The law school is on our own schedule and relies on none of the facilities of the University at large. It's easy to forget that our 'one room school house' is a part of an 7,000 acre campus. At Penn, I was dripping with school pride. I went to almost every home basketball game in my four years and regularly attended football, soccer, and volleyball ones. In support of the Red and the Blue, I drove hours with my roommates to go to unheralded events. In fact, I still would. But, I'm struggling to motivate myself to walk a few blocks to the largest party kicking off West of the Mississippi. Given that the alternative is studying on a beautiful afternoon, I'll go tap into that kernel of interest any sports fan would recognize and, in all likelihood, a keg in the parking lot too.

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