“If you are a fan, you have two choices. Go to the stadium, where you can see the whole beauty of it. Or stay at home and watch the beautiful moves on the slo-mo camera.” (Carlos Cuaron)
The coming of autumn marks the beginning of college/pro football season for this fully committed sports spectator. For I definitely look forward in fall to those gladiator-like competitions in live stadiums involving skilled athletes in full display. So allow me to clarify some brief impressions of two football contests that I felt fortunate to attend in person during our present road trip. A few weeks ago, I booked on Ticketmaster two inexpensive seats for Ruth and me at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California. From my upper level, sideline seat, I anxiously watched my favorite team, the Browns take on the Chargers. On the second occasion,this past weekend, I obtained a free ticket from two close friends on our stopover in Lincoln, Nebraska to casually observe the hometown University of Nebraska Cornhuskers host the Purdue Boilermakers from a lower level, end zone location at historic Memorial Stadium.
So how did each of these sporting venues appeal to me in different ways? At SoFi, the futuristic look of its angular translucent dome, gigantic circulating scoreboard, and fan-friendly pedestrian plaza mesmerized my attention throughout the game. While lacking the techno glitz of SoFi, you might in contrast envision a couple weeks later how much I enjoyed more of a “rah-rah”, college town” ambience of over 80,000 rabid Husker fans dressed in “Big Red” standing almost for the entire game to support their gritty team effort on the field. Meanwhile, I seemed to experience more non-football interest that day in disciplined marching band routines, cuddly mascot interactions, and “tailgating” food experiences.
So apparently it’s not just about the football score for me these days. For there’s the important matter of settling into the stadium ambience experience itself beyond who’s actually winning or losing the game. Yet in spite of these impressive stadium amenities celebrated on these two occasions, it remains puzzling that I ultimately felt sad and frustrated for both teams who lost the game then. So take a long look at some photos from both stadiums below. How do you feel about the winning “edge” of home field advantage?