Sunday, August 31, 2008

Empty Sports Weekend

Well, I spent $21 on game tickets, $5 on parking in Cleveland, and who knows how much on gas to go follow my high school and college football teams to their respective games this weekend. Kent Roosevelt played at Stow on Friday and Kent State played at Cleveland Browns Stadium against Boston College on Saturday night. I saw my teams score a grand total of ZERO points in Roosevelt's 14-0 loss to Stow and Kent State's 21-0 loss to BC. I will say neither game was a total surprise as Kent State would've had to pull off a pretty big upset to beat BC. For a team that hasn't been to a bowl or won the conference title since 1972, I guess we just have to take the moral victories where we can. As long as we beat Akron on October 4th I'll be happy! =) Roosevelt's game wasn't too unexpected either, though they had their chances as Stow only scored one touchdown purely on offense and the other was mainly the result of an interception returned near the goal line. Stow just had a much bigger team physically, so the fact that the game was only 14-0 is a good sign that Roosevelt has a pretty good defense (and they are FAST!). I think Roosevelt will be OK in PTC play in two weeks. I will say I felt Roosevelt won the halftime show (if there is such a thing!)! Even though Stow has an enormous band, they had several alumni marching with them, so for their halftime show they simply played three songs standing in a huge elongated arch while Roosevelt was in a constant state of movement and formations for their songs. Roosevelt has always had a pretty good and balanced marching band and I've always loved their sound. I just wish there were more people in the band! Right now it has around 100 members. The other cool thing was that since the game was at Stow, it was more like a second home game for Kent fans. Stow-Munroe Falls High School literally sits adjacent to the Kent border, so there are houses directly across the street from the school that go to Roosevelt since they are located in Kent. So, going to a game at Stow isn't much further than going to a game at Roosevelt. We had almost as many fans there as Stow did, something that is not true the other way around when Stow plays at Roosevelt! I was surprised too how Stow's stadium, which is built into a natural bowl, is evenly split between the home side and visitors side in terms of seating. Most high school stadiums have a large home side and a smaller visitor's side. Stow seems to have both sides pretty even, though their "home" side isn't very big at all, especially considering how large the school is (over 1,900 students). I guess it doesn't matter that much since the stadium is in a natural bowl, so people can sit on the sloped grass if the stands are full (and many did)!

The plus side this weekend for me was that Ohio State won 43-0 (not that that was unexpected playing Youngstown State) and Michigan lost at home to Utah 25-23. I think I was rooting against Michigan as much as I was rooting for Utah, the university I nearly went to on two different occasions and still think very highly of. Even though Kent State lost, I did enjoy my first visit to a game at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The halftime show was pretty cool too. The Kent State marching band along with five or six high school bands played "America the Beautiful" as part of the Patriot Bowl's armed services theme. It was quite an impressive site to see the field covered with band members (see my picture above). The last time I was inside the stadium was way back in 1999 for an open house just before it was finished. I have never been to a Browns game and don't think I will be able to anytime soon (not because I don't want to, but because I can't afford it!). I mainly went to see a game in the stadium. It's a nice stadium for sure, though I hope Kent State has learned the lesson that scheduling a game there won't translate to more fans coming. Since the team has been so bad for so long, they don't exactly have a huge following even IN Kent, so moving a game 45 minutes away from campus and then charging more for tickets just trims the attendance down even more. The announced crowd was just over 10,000 and that included a pretty good-sized contingent of Boston College fans. Had the game been played in Kent at Dix Stadium, I bet it would've been closer to 20,000 since more students would've come (it's free to come to games at Dix Stadium for students) and more local fans would've shown up as well to see the new stadium upgrades and just for something to do (not to mention not that expensive and a chance to see a big-name BCS school). Even then, it was nice to get a chance to see a game at Browns Stadium and go to Cleveland. I love going to downtown Cleveland!

Notes on pictures: 1. Picture from my original seats in the corner looking southeast of the halftime show with the KSU marching band and several high school bands playing "America the Beautiful." I ended up moving to better seats in the second half. 2. Outside shot of Cleveland Browns Stadium with the transit station visible on the left and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame visible on the far right as I was heading back to my car.

1 comment:

Krissy said...

stinky that you didn't witness any touchdowns or field goals. we left at halftime and it looks like the second half was better-er than the first. there was a man in the marching band that had to have been 60 years old ... at first i thought it was alumni day, but i think that maybe he is a student (like myself) and loves music. he may be my inspiration for joining ... ;) take care!