The chronology of football Saturdays

When you hate football and 'darties,' but have crippling fear of missing out


It’s Saturday. Gameday. Darty day. It’s the unique opportunity to go out and get trashed before noon without anyone frowning upon you or whispering the word “alcoholic” behind your back. And for the first time in ages you have decently high hopes that we might actually win the game.

You wake up earlier than you do for classes some days, because — as per usual — Fiji is having a thing with live music, while other frats nearby also throw down accordingly. You get dressed up, tastefully pairing your colorful sundress with your designated pair of “frat shoes” and leave your apartment with your roommates, ready to “darty” the morning away before the game.

You arrive at a packed party, where seemingly everyone is trashed and sipping on a Busch Light. You gently shove 15 or so frat bros in pastel to the side just to make it through the front door of the house. You make your way to the bar, only to find empty bottles. It suddenly makes sense why everyone else is hammered — they finished the alcohol. All of it. You and your friends dejectedly make your way back to the front yard. Before long, rumors fly that there’s another party rumored to have some precious Keystone Lights left and hope is restored. You migrate to said party.

If you’re like me, this is the point in the day where you begin to think, “I really just wish I were getting homework done right now.” You also start to question why you’re following a group of girls around in the pursuit of a warm beer, as if the holy grail awaits you at the bottom of that elusive aluminum can.

After a few more parties, the point will come where someone will finally suggest to attend the actual game. This is usually long after kickoff. People agree, and you begin walking towards Grounds, passing by the adult tailgates on the way and wishing that the parties you attended offered the same snack options the people under a tent next to Clark have.

If you’re lucky, you make it all the way to Scott Stadium and only accidentally step on two or three people as you trek down the hill in order to find a spot for you and your friends to watch the game. You sit down, dirt and grass stick to your legs and butt and make you feel itchy. A grasshopper keeps jumping onto you no matter how many times you shoo it away. You start sweating. A lot. You dream of being a first-year again so you could just go to O’Hill, have one of those dismal breakfast-taco things they misleadingly call “omelettes” and then go take a nap in your dorm nearby. But you hiked over a mile to get here, so you wait it out and try and make it to halftime, even though you only got here in the middle of the second quarter.

Eventually your friends also succumb to the heat and the fact that football is (arguably) the least fun sport to watch. You trek back to your apartment, walking past the darties still in full swing. You cringe as you think of all the things you could have gotten done today, knowing that your homework will have to wait until Sunday because a nap is currently far more urgent than being productive.

As you crawl into bed for your afternoon snooze you swear off the gameday trope, vowing to actually get work done next weekend. But at the back of your mind you know that by next weekend, you’ll be able to delude yourself into believing that you’ll actually be missing out on something by not going, and you’ll do it all again.

So, what’s the reason for this vicious cycle? To me it seems we frown upon not doing things — like going to football games, parties or other social events — because we worry that we will inevitably miss out on something important. But the thing is — this is college. There are always about 12,000 different things going on at once, so no matter how hard you try, you’re bound to miss out on something.

Rather than agonizing over the things we could miss out on, perhaps we should consider simply choosing to do whatever we think will make us, as individuals, happy. I think we all deserve those days where we can say “screw it” to the status quo and just do something we enjoy, whether that means taking a night to stay in and read a book (for fun, not for class), bulldozing through another season of “The Office” or maybe even making the radical decision to spend an entire Saturday sleeping in and missing a football game every once in awhile.

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