My Weekend, Part 1

When I was in school and during my working days, weekends were special.  And three day weekends were close to heaven.  It was rare that those days did not include plans for things to do and places to go.

Retirement brought about a complete reversal.  I usually get out of the house and do things on weekdays, mostly during daytime when there is less traffic and there are smaller crowds.  It is so much more convenient.  Now, weekends have become the time for rest and relaxation.

This past weekend, however, I did some things that I haven’t done in many years.  I attended a college football game on Saturday and went to our County Fair on Sunday.

Going to the football game was just a whim.  I read in the Sports section of the morning newspaper that Florida Atlantic University (FAU) was playing Troy University in the final game of a dismal season in which they had won only 4 of their 11 games; and that it was also the final game they would ever play in an old rented stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, about 15 miles from their campus.  Next season they will play in their new on-campus 30,000 seat stadium.

I thought about it and realized that I last attended  a football game in 1968!  I’ve attended many sporting events over the years, but for some unknown reason no football games.  So I decided to go.

Both FAU and Troy are large universities with approximately 25,000 students which compete in the highest competition level of intercollegiate athletics, Division 1, although they play in a conference not rated among the elite.  FAU has competed in football for only 10 years, and Troy has been competing at the Division 1 level for only 8 years.  Each school has aspirations for reaching the elite level.  The game was one of several that would be televised nationally on Saturday.

It was a beautiful day, bright sunshine, temps in the mid 70s and a pleasant breeze.  The attendance was a disappointing 11,400, with almost all seated on the side where I sat.  The low turnout could be attributed to FAU’s poor won-loss record, plus the rather depressing venue.  The stadium is old and obviously was never intended to host major sporting events.

Troy has a very good and very large marching band, but it did not make the trip to Ft. Lauderdale, which disappointed me.  I was looking forward to seeing them in person, marching band nut that I am.  But about 40 or so of them did come, not in uniform but in khakis and maroon tee shirts.  This is a short video I took when I first got to my seat, about an hour before game time.  The video wobbled a bit when I was jostled by some people just arriving behind me.

FAU has a small band which makes a lot less noise – weaker lungs perhaps.  This is a video of them playing the school fight song to accompany the team’s entrance.  I’ve never understood why college coaches feel they have to have so many players.  After all, there are only 11 on the field at any time.  There were about 20 more players who didn’t run on the field with the rest of the team.  They were seniors playing their last game and came out individually later for recognition and photos with their families and the coach.

The game itself was not happytime for the good guys.  Troy administered a rather thorough 44 – 7 thrashing to their hosts.  This short video, showing just two plays happening right in front of me, was fairly representative of FAU’s futility.  Every time they were able to move the ball with some effectiveness they found a way to self-destruct – in this case a fumble on the 2nd play brought back almost the length of the field by a white jersey-ed bad guy.

More of my boring exciting weekend tomorrow

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Filed under Marching Bands, Videos

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