college sports
You don't have to know the rules of the game to have a good time. (Illustration by Jessica Shaklee, University of Georgia)

Watching College Sports While Doing the Complete Opposite

Not into sports but don’t want to miss out? Here are five ways for non-fans to have fun at college games.

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Not into sports but don’t want to miss out? Here are five ways for non-fans to have fun at college games.

School sports games are the epitome of the college experience, but it’s not for everyone. Here are four ways for non-sports fans to have fun at a college sports game.

1. Socialize

College sports are just another excuse to party. Except at this party, there will be mascots, concession stands and, of course, sports. Everything else is often identical to any after-party, pregame or kickback.

If you find no excitement in the quarterback getting sacked or the shooting guard’s jump shot, trust me, you’re not the only one. There are plenty of students who came to the game just because they did not want to miss out on the fun. You can usually spot non-fans by the concession stand or anyplace that makes the field or court visually impossible.

Don’t be afraid to walk up to people. More than likely, another introvert is laboring through the third quarter and is dying for a friendly conversation.

2. Tailgates

For those who have an aversion to everything sports-related, tailgating is an outdoor gathering that is before the game. Tailgating events usually take place during outdoor sports and is the perfect alternative from sitting through four quarters of boredom.

Tailgating is also an opportunity to meet new people like alumni who have traveled back to their alma mater for the new season. More importantly, tailgating always calls for a free barbecue — a massive jump from the overpriced popcorn in the concession stand.

A tailgate is also the perfect opportunity to network. The fact that alumni still have enough school spirit to come to the first home game is an indication that they love their school and its people. It won’t be hard to strike up a conversation with a former undergraduate.

Now, if you’re not into the social aspect of tailgates, there are still ways to entertain yourself at the gathering. If grilled food and cheery alumni aren’t remotely satisfying, the music blasting from someone’s speaker will surely keep you entertained and relaxed. Not to mention the outburst of jokes that can’t be contained by the old frat bros catching up on old times.

3. The Halftime Show

Nowwho doesn’t love a good band? Not to mention, a group with over 100 exceptional instrumentalist and crowd-hyping dance breaks. Whether your home team has been penalized and the rival team is up by four touchdowns, you can count on the band members to lift your spirits — not to mention, the band’s dancers’ energetic moves and unbeatable choreography.

The average halftime show can last from five to 10 minutes, which is not even 10% of an entire game. However, it gives you something to look forward to and something to remember.

Besides, college bands are famous for playing songs throughout the game and the dancers are always prepared to put on a show. Problem solved!

4. Make Some Money

No matter what college sport your friends have forced you to watch, there will always be a sucker in the stands ready to bet money on the game. Just make sure the sucker isn’t you.

If you are placing a bet, however, it is essential to have some background knowledge of the players. The practice might be a challenge for non-college sports fans. However, this information is nothing you can’t find on your school’s website.

On the contrary, betting on games, especially when you’re not a fan of the sport, makes the chances of winning money very slim. However, there is another way to make a guaranteed dollar.

There is always a need for student hires to be game day employees. The part-time gig usually involves duties such as ticket scanning, line queuing or monitoring parking areas. Most college football staffers pay a salary of $10 to $12 an hour for an average game.

Moreover, student staffers are required to attend out-of-state games. You will literally get paid to travel — a fine upgrade from sitting alone in your dorm room on the weekends.

Check with your university to see if game day staffers need student hires. If so, try it out. College sports won’t seem so bad if it keeps some extra money in your pocket. Surely every college kid can relate.

5. Pursue School Spirit

Half of the students who follow college teams are not real sports fan. The eagerness to cheer on for their school is a reflection of school spirit rather than being a die-hard fan for college sports.

Most of the time, people who show up to games attend out of love for the school. Students who are actively involved on campus get excited when given a chance to cheer for their school.

If you only see college as a place to go to class during the day and sleep in your dorm at night, it’s understandable that you lack school spirit.

Try finding something that you enjoy about your university’s student body that will encourage you to support the student-athletes. Organizations such as the Student Government Association or clubs such as the university’s pep squad helps you to get hype for games as well as other events.

College is a “work hard play hard” ball game. If you don’t make time for both, undergrad is going to be extremely long and mind-numbingly tricky.

Showing support for college sports is more than merely watching a game. It’s about the memories that one can only make when you’re sitting in the bleachers amongst a large crowd laughing and cheering with friends.

You don’t have to be a fan to enjoy college sports. There is plenty to do and half of it doesn’t involve watching the game at all.

On another note, colleges and universities profit from college sports. Student-athletes work hard to gross money for their school, making it twice as hard to stay on top of school work.

In fact, student-athletes need your support. Players invest much of their time and effort into their sport and having a good crowd turnout on game day is very encouraging. If you’re not going to be there for your enjoyment, take one for the team.

Hopefully, this guide will make the current football season a little more bearable along with other year-round sports. Next time you feel the urge to raincheck a game, think about all of the opportunities you are missing. On many occasions, the memories you make in college is worth more than the latest assignment.

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