Football Friday Night is here again! The teams have been practicing, the band is all tuned up, and the lights are on. Come in and take your seat, cheer loudly for your team, and don't forget to support the school athletics and music programs by buying food at the concession stand. But make sure you keep four things in mind:
First, bring something to sit on. Wooden and metal stadium seats wreck havoc on your rump. After a quarter or two your behind is begging for a change of scenery. This is actually a clever ploy by the schools. You have to stand to give your behind a break, and the only place to wander to is the concession stand. Okay, so that's not true (as far as we know) but it is true that the seats are very uncomfortable. The best way to remedy this is to bring a stadium seat. If your school has a spirit store, you can probably find some in your schools color and logo there. You can also get a padded mat to go under you if you can't find a stadium seat.This works just as well but doesn't have a back like a stadium seat does. It is more lightweight, though, and schools usually sell them as well. If all else fails, grab a blanket and some bungee cords to strap it down with. Anything is better than nothing.
Second, be nice to the people at the concession stand. It takes a lot of work to run it, and they are usually short staffed. You get old pros coupled with newbies and between all the on-the-job training that goes on, the heat from the ovens, and people yelling to go get this or that, it can be pretty hectic. They do the best they can and get you your food as quick as they can. If you miss a play because you're waiting, they're sorry. But guess what? They missed it too. And believe me, they'd rather be watching the game than be in the concession stand, but here they are making sure you have your popcorn. Would it hurt you to smile and say thanks?
Third, expect the unexpected. Yes it's cliche, but it's true. If the weatherman says it's going to be a perfect night for football, you better grab an umbrella. When your team is up at the half and it seems like an easy win, stay to the end of the game anyway. If you've been assured defeat, stay and cheer your team on to victory. You never know what's going to happen with high school football. Ask anyone. And the games that are the most memorable are the ones no one saw coming.
Fouth, make sure you watch the band. They spend a lot of time making a show for you, and this is their time to shine. The away band always performs first and the home band goes next. If you don't watch both, at least watch your school's. You will find as much passion, sweat, and tears in the band as you will in the football team (or anywhere else, for that matter). They're extremely dedicated and by the end of the season they are all a family. And I mean they are ALL a family. Football teams can be enemies, but band members accept and love each other no matter what. It doesn't matter if they're the same school, rival schools, or schools from a different state they've never heard of. Band means friendships wherever they go. Take a few minutes to appreciate what they do.
So don't be afraid to scream a little louder. When the cheerleaders do a cheer, do it along with them. They too work hard at what they do. Don't be afraid to get into the spirit of things. It doesn't last forever, so go ahead and make it last. Make some memories. After all, "What we hold in memory is ours, unchanged, forever."