Nov 15 / jmusport

Guest Post: Stay All Four Quarters

Cody won last week’s prediction contest and earned the right to guest post. Here’s his plea for students to stay all four quarters.

Enter the prediction contest, they said. Win a guest spot, they said. Never did I ever think I would actually win. What’s my secret, you ask? I google each team, average the scores I see (without realizing google sometimes includes games from a long time ago) and see if it’s a plausible football score. Try it.

Anyway, since I never thought I’d win, I never really had an idea of what to write about. So I’ll just beat a dead horse, but maybe from a different angle (and all doped up on a co-created-with-my-doctor concoction of  azithromycin, 800mg ibuprofen, possibly expired Wal-Phed (poor man’s Sudafed), cough drops, Gatorade (the white one, of course), probiotics, and Monster Energy):
4 Reason Why Students Need To Stay Through The Entire Game
1. JMU Is A Special Kind Of Atmosphere
If I’m being honest, I wasn’t the best JMU fan during my time in undergrad. I think I went to 4 football games my first year and this what during the time when all you needed to do was show your JAC at the gate to get in. Hell, I lived in Eagle Hall, too, so really I had no excuse other than I didn’t particularly care. My love for the university really didn’t start to take root until my junior year, and by then it was tough to get in (pre-order free tickets – what?). But, what I do know is that each game I went to was an atmosphere of love, fun, excitement, thrill, etc. It’s been a while since I’ve been back (looking at you, homecoming 2014..I think?), so I can’t even imagine what that feeling is now. But, it can only have grown. Fast forward beyond earning my M.Ed. and working for two years at a school whose football team has been undefeated since 1908, I’m now living and working in Knoxville, Tennessee, home of the Tennessee Volunteers. This was/is a culture shock in the size/sports world that I’m used to. But, with all the hype that surrounds SEC culture, I have not been impressed with the fan base/atmosphere of UT football. Even at JMU’s worst, we were proud and excited (yes, even those of us who weren’t that tied to sports or the school). Shoot, one of my fondest memories is watching JMU lose to William & Mary in the cold and rain, behind the MRDs, with all my friends. Here, it’s just different.
So, students, soak it in now. Because once you leave for the “bigger and better” life of the SEC/ACC/OTHERCONFERENCESIDONTKNOWTHENAMESOF, the atmosphere won’t be the same.

2. When You’re 30+, It’s Hard To Stand/Sit That Long
Take it in now, because it’s going to get worse the older you get. If you come back after graduation, it’s going to be different. You’ll realize you can’t quite hang with the students, but you aren’t quite ready to be one of “those” people who sit the whole time. No matter your age, though, you’re never going to be quite ready for the angle of the seats the higher up you go. Vertigo is real, folks. Stick it out now, because it’s okay if you leave early when you’re old; you’ve seen some sh*t by then!
3. You Can’t Feel What 21-16 Is Like From The Backseat Of A Car
On September 11, 2010 I was invited to attend the Virginia Tech/JMU game in Blacksburg, Virginia. I was one of two JMU fans in my friend group that day and one of few JMU fans in the midst of a sea of maroon and orange in our seats. The setting was ugly. It was cold, rainy, and it’d already been a bad day personally. But, to be able to cheer on my Dukes just a few months after I had graduated was nice. As the 4th quarter began, my Tech-fan friends (and ride home) decided they couldn’t hang in the rain/cold and were ready to go home. The game was over anyway. I couldn’t argue. We listened to the game as we drove the 40 minutes back home and I had to listen to Drew Dudzik rush 7 yards for a touchdown. The sound and feeling of the crowd was really dampened by the car driving down I-81.
Don’t be me, friends. Stay, you never know what might happen!
4. It’s Not Always About You (But It Can Be Later)
D-Hall, parties, your room, a warm shower, Natty Light (or whatever the beer of choice is these days), or whatever you think can’t wait any longer for you will be there after that last 10 minutes of the game. When you set out to go to a football game, you know the time you’re committing to. Just because it’s a blow out (either good or bad) doesn’t mean the time is going to be different. Stick it out. You’re not there for you, you’re there for the school, the team, your friends. I mean, you don’t see the team head out early do you, no matter what the score is. And, yes, they have things they want to do post-game as well. Who cares if it’s crowded at the end of the game? You’ll get where you need to go no matter what, I promise. And, in the end, when you look back on your time spent at JMU, you’re going to remember the times you stuck around a lot more than the times you left early for…what was it again?

6 Comments

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  1. JMUDRU / Nov 15 2018

    Leaving the Tech game early had to be painful. Just like all of the people who left the 2008 App State game at halftime. I never leave games early. Even if 9 times out of 10 it goes the way you thought it would…there’s always that 1/10 time that turns into a can’t miss memory that lasts a lifetime. Go Dukes

  2. ShadyP / Nov 15 2018

    I agree with the sentiment of this post, but it SHOULD APPLY TO ALL FANS not just the students.

    Do this many folks leave movies early?

    If you come to the game you have already done the hard part by showing up….just stay another 1-1.5 hours and enjoy the game and have fun.

    I totally get leaving a blowout early (i am not gonna do that but I get it).

  3. Drake / Nov 15 2018

    I will leave a big blowout, mainly because I’m visiting and I want to get to do other things around town or walk around campus. As a student, I did stay for blowouts because I enjoyed a good slaughter.

    Colleges and pro teams are having this same problem. Falcons fans aren’t in there seats for the first part of the game because there are so many things to do in the stadium and outside the stadium. The experience has become so much better at home. I can have beer AND watch the JMU game on my TV free of charge via hooking my computer up to my gigantic TV. Madizone is also a damn good production and free.

    I understand why people leave for rain, but if you didn’t prepare for cold weather then suck it up.

  4. Drake / Nov 15 2018

    The moral of the story is allow beer in Bridgeforth!

  5. Mr JMU / Nov 15 2018

    Awesome post! Cody – even if you weren’t all in on day one, I’m glad you’re involved now! Go Dukes!

  6. M@ / Nov 20 2018

    Obviously I’m going to pile on. Loved hearing about you leaving VT early (can you say schadenfreude)? I have left exactly one game early. 11/24/2007 and I left with about 9 seconds to go. But even that is a story of perseverance. I get that rain and cold suck (if you think 30+ is rough wait until 40+). But you gotta root. You gotta lend your voice to those guys on the field (or not if the offense is playing). OK, you don’t *gotta*, but you still gotta.

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