The Kent State University Football Team had its first home game this weekend. And I was invited to attend as a guest of a Kent State University student: my son, Elliot! It felt like the first fully-normal “college thing” we’ve gotten to do together. After a year of COVID-19 and three weeks of beginning-of-the-semester chaos, it was just me and my boys hanging out together for a College Game Day at Dix Stadium.
I was impressed by the energy at the stadium. The marching band… the cheerleaders… the jumbotron… the football team… They really put on quite a show! And it was especially fun to see the student section jam-packed with Kent State students again. (Although, I have to admit that I found myself thinking: “I hope they were all vaccinated, like we are!”). The football team seemed to feed off that energy, too. By halftime, they were ahead 39-0.
At times, I can feel annoyed by American football culture. It can be annoying to observe the way it dominates the thoughts and schedules of our lives at this time of the year. It can be annoying to deal with all the tribalism on display at these football games: team versus team, region versus region, and even a lot of “USA” versus “the world,” too. Still, I have to admit that it’s a fun and invigorating environment. It feels like college. Like the fall. Like “American life.” And in the era of COVID-19, I’m thankful we can get glimpses of this every now and then.
It does my heart good to see Elliot thriving in his new environment. He’s a good student, a good roommate, and a good adult. I’m proud of him. Go Flashes!