Friday, October 05, 2007

School Spirit: An American Homecoming Game

There's nuttin' quite like good ol' American school spirit!

My high school had a good amount of school spirit (much to my German parents' bewilderment), but our school spirit was nothing compared to the spirit at my kids' high school!

Every Friday during the the Fall football season-- but especially on Homecoming Friday (today) -- our entire town focuses on "the game." Students go all out, wearing outrageous costumes made up of the school colors, and squeezing into the student cheer section, the front two rows of which are reserved for the most spirited of the seniors, guys in the front row and girls in the second. Elementary and junior high school kids admire and aspire to the "front line," knowing that someday -- some day -- their turn will come. This year Aleks (half while, half green face, on right) and Kat finally get to occupy the coveted "front lines" and cheer their hearts out.

This evening Elisabeth, Tom and I attended the game (not in the student cheer section -- though Elisabeth could have surely conned her way in), and even though our team lost (to the state's top-ranked team), a great time was had by all!

I'm definitely a sucker for good ol' American school spirit -- and I like the fact that I can share in my kids' high school experiences rather than be baffled and bewildered by them, as my parents were.

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Goofball said...

That is so cool about American schools indeed. Here school is only for the classes and then you go home. sport teams are totally independent from schools, as are drama classes, music education in the evening music academies etc... We have the entire range of activities available, but not linked to a school. So no dressing up in school colors either.

vailian said...

There is not so much identification with a school here, which in a way is sad. Anyhow it looks like everyone had a good time!
(But I admit I don't missed the enforced enthusiasm-- I didn't like being forced to go to football games, and was called into the principal's office several times about it. I protested that I wasn't a football player and I wasn't in school to learn football)

Jonathon Morgan said...

I have the same feelings every year when I start to hear marching bands practicing around town!

Anonymous said...

Ugh...I hated high school football games. We were forced to have "spirit" like that, and forced to attend the games. So fake and superficial.

Carol said...

OK, that's two people now who say they were "forced" to go to games and have school spirit. What the...?

So if you don't want to go to games, don't. And if you don't have school spirit, fine. I don't think any of the students at last night's game felt coerced into anything.

In fact, quite a few recent alumni were there, and the overwhelming sentiment seemed to be how much fun high school football games were and how much they missed it...


Anonymous said...

They may not have been coerced, but they were certainly manipulated. Football is a big moneymaker for schools and it's to their benefit to try to whip students into a frenzy. I'm surprised you were OK with the obvious anti-feminist flavor of the event. Boys in the front row, girls behind? That would rub me the wrong way. It's bad enough that girls are cheering for a boys sport, and boys never cheer for girls sports, but to put girls in the second-best row, is just very offensive.

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Anonymous said...

We go to football games for the exact same reason any city or town all over the world goes to "futbol" games, to show support for where we are from and the people who represent us on the field. We go to the games for free at home, and all the money made from away games and supporters gear goes to straight to the ASB for either prom or graduation festivities. In sports, male domination is a constant, and the same thing happens in firms and ultras all over Europe for real football. There are absolutely no females in West Ham's Inter City Firm, and women in Milan's Milano Ultra must sit in back as well. Men are more interested in sport, more supportive, and the obvious choice for those to lead the supporters section. Sport's is a masculine sector, the same way fashion modeling is a womans. Do you want me to complain about that?

If you don't like sports, don't get involved with them, especially soccer, which I promise you is MUCH more male dominated than American football, when scope is considered.

Every single person in that crowd is having a good time, and everyone chooses to be there 100% out of free-will. I'm just absolutely flabbergasted you have a problem with youth having a good time together with their friends in an alcohol and drug-free environment on a Friday night (which is rare, REALLY rare, for high schoolers.)

J said...

I had to go to football games because I was in the marching band. I never did care much for (American) football, though. I wasn't much of a school spirit person either. School was a place I was forced to go to, not necessarily one I wanted to go to.

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