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Rant... Standing Up at the Game

After reading Acid’s post, I should have walked away with all sorts of knowledge because he sure does bring it.  But you know what stood out to me?  The part about people behind him complaining about him standing.  Let me preface this by saying, I have been going to Auburn games for over 25 years.  I also would like to say that I consider my self a grown man at the age of 33.  I am not old, although some of you college students might think so, but 33 is still a grown man. 


So here is my story.  If you come here often you know that I gave up my season tickets before this season.  There were a few factors in making that decision, but times change.  Other things in life take priority over paying TUF a good portion of my annual salary.  In my years as a season ticket holder, I got to know the people behind us, and they were the main reason we never attempted to "upgrade" to a better location.  I would not say that we were friends per se, but I know his name, his wife’s name, and their child’s name.  We exchanged phone numbers and have talked on occasion.  I always looked forward to hanging out with them for a few hours on a Saturday and watching our Tigers play.  Every season… and I will repeat every season some "new" group of people would have seats behind us.  Game one, it was the same thing.  "Sit Down. You are not in the student section any longer."  I always wanted to say, No kidding, I am 30, and if I was a student, I would be over there, and most likely drinking."   But I never did.  I was always polite and told them that I would be standing until Auburn either made the stop on defense or made the big play on offense.  It is what I did.  The people directly behind us did the same thing.  That is who we were.  If the other people behind us wanted to participate, great.  But as you can tell by this post, they did not.  They wanted to sit and be old fogeys.  After game one of the season, they understood what was going to happen, and that I was not going to stand the whole game like I wanted to, but I would get behind Auburn and "get loud" when the need arose.


Fast forward to Saturday night.  I scored some great seats from a friend and was really looking forward to sitting there with my Step-Father, sister, and good friend.  My friend also married a Georgia grad, so he does not make it to many Auburn games.  In fact he is a UGA season ticket holder, so he only gets one Auburn game a year (the UGA-Auburn game).  The stars aligned and he was able to make the trip to the Plains with me for WVA, and we were pumped.  As mentioned everywhere, the cats and dogs portion of the rains came and we never left our seats.  We were in it for the long haul.  We listened to The Thunder Rolls over the loud speaker, along with any other rain based title song the Auburn Media Dept. could come up with.  We saw a couple of drunken students do belly flops in the endzone, it was sort of like being a kid again.  Needless to say we were having fun. 


Most peoples fun stopped either when Zac got burned for the 60 yard pass that led to the opening TD or the Noel Divine 70 yard run that was their second score.  I saw neither of those, you know why?  Because I had some older folks who thought it was a good thing to keep tapping me on the shoulder and telling me to sit down.  They were two rows behind me.  I am quite tall, but these folks were two rows behind me.  Deal with it.  I had just sat through maybe the worst rain I have ever seen at an outdoor event, and I wanted Auburn to know that I, for one, was not fazed by it.  Finally, when they realized that I was not going to sit just yet, they told me that they were calling the cops.  I said (very nicely), "Call them, I paid for this seat, and I can choose to sit in it or stand in front of it, but it is mine.  It could be worse, I could be standing on it." 


Next thing I know, my friend and I are getting "talked" to by the 20-25 year olds sitting in the row behind us.  One was a Gator (he was proudly displaying his attire) and another was a UGA guy.  We know this because we talked to them pregame.  The Florida guy proceeds to tell me "Either you WILL sit, or he is going to stomp my ass." I told him he is welcome to try, but my game was on… can it wait until a commercial (and laughed)."

As I turned back to watch Auburn actually move the ball, he slaps my buddies hat bill.  My friend is not a bully, in fact he is pretty laid back, but who is going to take that right?  But before my friend has a chance to decide how to proceed, the cops that the old folks called were on the Gator like flies on trash.  Why oh why, does this have to happen to my friend?  He has not been to an Auburn game and sat in the Auburn section in close to 10 years.  What a great experience for him, I was not pleased.


I must say it was quite cool watching the Gator getting tossed, but when the cop came back and talked to me like I was a dog, that was another matter.  As I mentioned earlier, I am a grown man.  I was standing/sitting with my family doing nothing wrong.  There were plenty of kids in front of us, there was no chance that I was cussing or being belligerent… as he so pleasantly put it.  Why did Officer Wilson of the Sheriffs office have to be such a Richard.  That is another matter all together, and I will let that go for now!!


Why do people expect other people to sit down at a ball game?  While I was a student, we stood the whole game.  While I was a season ticket holder we stood for about 70 percent of the game.  Every away game I have ever been to, the entire section stood.  I don’t care if you were 18 or 80 years old.  You stood.  But every time I stood on Saturday, I could feel people’s eyes burning holes through me. 


If I get that way when I am older, I am pretty sure I would either sit at home and watch it, or make sure that the Athletic Dept. knew I had an issue and needed to be in a certain location.  I know that they have sections for that.  I have seen them and the Americans with Disabilities Act demand it.  These people were not 75 or 80.  They were in their 60s for sure, but all seemed to be in good health.  Standing for some of the game would not have hurt them I am sure. 


Sorry for the rant… but after reading Acid’s post I had to tell my story.  I would rather put up with a terrible opponents fan, then have to listen to people tell me to sit down.