I have been a football fan for as long as I can remember and watched many National Football League (NFL) games on television. From my very first memories of watching Joe Namath to the first season that the Atlanta Falcons made the playoffs, I always wanted to go to a game in person but it never happened until Sunday. My wife got us two tickets to the Tennessee Titans’ final regular season game against the Houston Texans for Christmas. Although there were no playoff issues to play for on either side, it was still an awesome game and experience. The Titans jumped out to a 14-0 lead and held on for a 24-17 win and their first winning season since 2011.
So why had it taken me this long to go to my first game?
I grew up in a strict religious home so it was not allowed to go to events where alcohol was sold. Other times either I didn’t live near a team or it was just too expensive or some other reasons. It is always difficult to pay a lot of money to go and risk sitting in the wrong place where people have no regard for anyone else. This can really ruin the whole experience. There’s also the logistics of getting to the game, parking and navigating through the crowds.
I have been to two NFL games before but I was working as a writer/reporter then and it’s not quite the same when you are working. It’s just a whole new experience when you go to a game as a fan. You don’t have to worry about keeping stats or writing a game story, you can just enjoy the game.
Here are a few observations about going to an NFL game:
- Everything is much smaller than you think. On television the stadium seems a lot bigger.
- You don’t have television commentary. You don’t know any of the back stories of the players or inside scoops about what is going on down on the field.
- I had to remember to watch that I could watch the action on the field and didn’t have to watch the game on the jumbotron.
- It’s not as easy to take a bathroom break like you can watching at home.
- You get to experience the elements and energy in the stadium. It’s like you are part of the game.
- You see what happens during commercials. They have contests with fans doing different things to win prizes.
- You get free stuff. We got Titans’ calendars for 2017!
- Witnessing the guy sitting next to you chew tobacco and spit in a pizza box the entire game. (It is the personalized Nashville experience)
- Instead of changing the channel, you have to be forced out by stadium personnel and join the herd of people leaving the stadium.
Now my wife and I have experienced the professional teams in the Music City. We loved going to see the Predators (hockey), not so much the Sounds (baseball) and wasted our money watching the Venom (indoor football). We will be back to a Titans game in the future.