Being an out of state student at OU is not so bad. I mean learning every small town in Ohio was not easy but after a month I could confidently call Ohio my home for the next four years. The biggest problems of being an out-of-state student is that I am also an out-of-state sports fan. There are a lot of struggles only out of state die-hard fans will completely understand.
Anytime I wear my jersey uptown many profanities are screamed my way. I mean I’m just trying to support my team and I thought we were all bobcats? On the other hand I get it. The team I support is definitely a threat to most Ohio football teams anyway. I have learned that if you are brave enough to wear an unfavorable jersey you better be prepared with at least five comebacks.
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Another issue that I ran into is finding friends to watch the game with. When Sunday nights rolled around and I asked who wanted to watch the game I was often given confused looks. The people in my dorm thought I had messed up the time of the game until they realized I was not talking about their team. It lead to a lot of keeping up with the score on my phone while we all watched a different game in the common room.
One of the best feelings is when I look across a crowded bar to see someone with the same jersey as me. It is like we are instant supporters of one another even though we just met because everyone else is against us. Fortunately for me, the team that I support has a lot of fans located in Ohio so I do not feel so alone.
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I have learned that the better your team is, the worse people will treat you. Again this comes with the territory of being out of state. Most fans that dislike my team will just leave me alone, but some are really aggressive when my team loses because they are so happy. I have also experienced that students bond over teams that are not doing so well. I honestly do root for the Browns because they have been having a few rough years (sorry guys, it’s true). The fact that I can be understanding has definitely earned some brownie points for the people that hate my team.
Something I did not expect when I came to Ohio is that I would learn so much about their sports teams. Ever since I got here even though I support my home team I have watched so many games with my friends that I catch myself knowing all their player’s names and caring if they beat their rivals or not. I have some friends that are out of state, but from different states then me, and I have learned a lot about their team as well.
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I am glad that I am such a big football fan in a different state than my own. It has forced me to learn more about my own team (for better comebacks) and also understand other teams even better. I appreciate the game even more than I did before. Stay strong out of state fans– it’s always an interesting experience.