First Time Experiences - Football Not Rugby

Experiencing something for the first time can send a rush through your body that is positively exhilarating. Everybody will experience this during the course of their lifetime. For others, they may happen more often and this is usually the case for many international students.

Being an international student myself, I would say that I have experienced many ‘firsts’. One of the most memorable first moments was my first American Football game. Football, in my home country Zimbabwe, is soccer.

A week before the game, I had completely immersed myself in learning all that I could about American football. Back home, we play a similar sport called rugby, which is like American football, but without the pads and has smaller teams. However, learning the sport is very different than experiencing it.

I was lucky enough to attend a University of Georgia football game in Athens. Before we even arrived in Athens, you could sense the change in atmosphere. Spirits were lifted and you could spot supporters in their red and black. We had parked about two blocks down from the football stadium because almost all the parking lots were filled with cars of people who were attending the game. I was shocked that this many people would come out to support a college sport. Walking up, I noticed a lot of people in the streets and parks doing what I later knew to be called tailgating.

The atmosphere was lovely. You could hear the people in the stadium before you even got there. The fact that so many people, whether or not they went to UGA, came to support them and I thought this was incredible.

I experienced a few other ‘firsts’ while attending the game. I was lucky enough to see the game from the sky box where I didn’t have to worry about not being able to see clearly or getting cold. We were served warm food and had an assortment of drinks and snacks. However, my favorite part of the game was witnessing a marching band in full force. The synchronization and music was amazing. The costumes were beautiful and it made me enjoy the game more. I would definitely be going to another match.