Game days for most at the University of Kansas mean the excitement of cheering for a football team we know will lose, being surrounded by friends, tailgating, and general fun. But what about the people who live next to the stadium? What do game days mean for them?
Why? Because early morning games means waking up to the sound of AC/DC blaring from the old KU alum’s stereo. The hard rock mixes with the bass of party music from the Frat boy’s tent and the swing of country from a group of girls in cowboy boots.
As the game day gets going we stadium neighbourhood-dwellers find ourselves trapped in our homes, peering out our windows hoping only for peace and quiet. Instead of peace, we get crowds screaming and downing cans on cans of cheap beer which are tossed carelessly into our yards.
All of this would be fine— wonderful actually— if only we had the option to leave. But there are cars blocking the roads as well as a few drunken folks stumbling about the street. So we hide and we wait.
I’m sure by now you’re wondering why this article is so bitter. I don’t have much justification to offer besides this:
I’m not a sports fan.
The litter left after the games is enormously saddening.
The thought that if the number of people who showed up to games showed up to vote, cheered for better education funding rather than goals, and donated the water and food they ate to the poor instead of downing that fifth hot-dog, the world would look a lot different.
Sports are unifying, they bring people together for a day or a season. They promote healthy, competitive spirit, and camaraderie. But next time you’re at a game and all your attention is turned to the placement of a ball on a field, wonder what the campus, state, and country would look like if people cared about the common good the same way they care about sports.
Your local stadium-dwelling-sports-hater
P.S. Please do not blast AC/DC anymore, I’ve heard Dirty Deeds Done Cheap far too many times.