College Football: A Survival Guide


Illustration by Lillie Busch

You can hear it in the distance: thudding footfalls, energetic chants and popping beer cans. You smell the unavoidable combined stench of body sweat and greasy concession food. It must be something electric in the air, and your stomach drops like a weight. Ready or not, it’s football season.

If you are unathletic or do not care about football, the fall season tends to be a tremendous chore. There is nothing on television besides sports coverage, and the city is flooded with avid sports fans on Saturdays. Worst of all, if you live on campus you must move your vehicle to accommodate for game attendees. But do not fear; the survival guide for college football is here.

First, begin to utilize Saturdays. After a certain point in the afternoon, everyone will either be at the game, or at home and watching the game. This creates a variety of possibilities: grab the best seat in an empty movie theater or shop hassle-free at the mall. If there is an out-of-town game, then the world is your oyster for less road traffic and fewer crowds.

Perhaps you still want to be social but not enter the stadium. If this sounds like you, then take advantage of the tailgating scene. Mill around, socialize and feast on the free food supplied by generous individuals. And no, contrary to popular belief, it is not a requirement to dress cute. It is much more important to be comfortable than cute while out in the Southern heat.

A third tip is to always be your own ride. Sometimes fans and other individuals find football events to be overwhelming with the noise, crowd and smell. It is not embarrassing to bring earplugs or leave early. Instead of carpooling, ride in your own vehicle so you are free to leave whenever ready.

Another way to survive the football season is by simply watching the game on television. This method removes many toxic elements, such as rude fans or sensory overload, but still allows you to focus on the game. Hosting a house party allows you to enjoy the socialization of tailgating without the ants and hot, sticky weather. 

Of course, there are also more extreme options for surviving (and enjoying) college football. Prime examples include cheering for the wrong team, becoming a concession stand connoisseur or fleeing North for the season. However, those methods have proven to be significantly unsuccessful.

The best advice for enjoying college football is to spend it with friends and family. At the end of the day, football is simply another way to create fun memories, whether that means judging concession corndogs or playing cornhole while tailgating.

Ultimately, it is up to you to make the most of football season. You can sit at home and complain about the increased traffic, or you can view the season in a kinder light by realizing it as a time for a local community to come together.

Do what you will with this survival guide, because football is not disappearing any time soon.