In my house, you could consider me the go-to sports girl. You need a stat, and I’ll come through for you with total touchdowns and average yards per carry. Have a question about a certain player, and I’ll have their Wikipedia page up in a flash. Need a sports jersey for your wild all-star party on Saturday night? Can I interest you in Hakeem Nicks, Tiki Barber or Mats Zuccarello?
If you know me well enough, you would hardly consider this a surprise. I grew up in a sports household, where Sundays turned into designated all-day football screening sessions and playoff hockey dissolved into a competition between my parents, my brothers and myself to see who could shout the loudest about penalties. I honestly expected my college life to include more of the same—a school of highly intense fans where students fall over themselves in order to get the best seats in the big house and I could have hour-long conversations about our favorite wins of the season.
Instead, I found myself at a school that nails the pre-game aspect of the typical college football game, and then fails to follow up on the rest of it. I mean that literally; we have a common joke at my school that everyone comes to our tailgates, then goes home before our football team can even kick the ball off.
And I find that totally fine. Completely fine. No sir, totally a-okay over here.
In some ways I have my mother to thank for this. Growing up in a house with a Penn State University alum gave me too high expectations for what attending college would actually entail. Tulane University, if you would believe it, does not have a Beaver Stadium-sized field or a ride-or-die fanbase that would tear an Ohio State University fan apart with their bare hands if they received the opportunity.
Now, by no means has anyone considered Tulane an athletic powerhouse in the last decade (or maybe ever). I think that our 49-6 dismantling at the hands of OSU on September 22 will tell you that without my help. So why do I still sit down and watch every single game? Why can I still plant myself in the front row of the stadium, screaming my head off with the fans that still show up to support our Green Wave sports programs?
I have a few reasons that I can think of. One: students get free seating and I can’t resist a good football game that I don’t have to pay a penny for. After all, I can’t get front row seating at a Louisiana State University Tigers game without taking a sledgehammer to my poor piggy bank.
Two: I’ve grown up too attached to give up on football games just yet. Even if my team gets torn apart, you bet your bottom dollar that I will sit in those stands and watch them get torn apart. One of the most difficult parts of supporting your team involves supporting them through rain or shine, and Tulane has seen a fair amount of rain in recent years. I continue to hope that one day our luck will turn around.
Three: somewhere at the end of that rainbow sits a pot of gold that has Tulane’s name written all over it. All this time, I think that my friends who go to those big schools with their fancy athletic programs and shiny stadiums must have it so nice. They don’t have to worry about whether or not they make the “insert noun here” bowl. If the Green Wave could win six games, then we could head to our first bowl game in 5 years—and don’t talk to me about how they already have a losing record this year.
Every home game, I sit down in those sparsely-packed stands and watch Tulane battle whoever comes down to the Big Easy. Every away game, I find a livestream and do my schoolwork with ESPN blaring in the background. I make my lifestyle work, and I hold out hope that we somehow cross that finish line this season, or next season, or at least some time in my lifetime.
Since I have attended Tulane University, the Green Wave football team has always ended the season with a losing record. I’ve seen games played in rain, shine, wind and all things in between. I’ve seen some 60-yard bombs, a season lost to a controversial call at the goal line on the final play of the game and clock management so distressing that I probably could have thrown on the headset and won the game for them.
Don’t worry, you can still find me counting down the days until bowl season. Look towards the stands to the left of the goal post, cheering with my fellow Green Wave fanatics.