Experiencing Gameday Traditions As A First-Time Superfan
Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 20:09
One aspect of Boston College student life that attracts so many prospective students to attend the institutions is the coveted football games. To many, BC is known for its spirited and energetic fans, fun tailgates, and deeply rooted traditions, making the school appealing to those interested in the “typical college experience.” As a first time Superfan, it can often be intimidating to enter into this atmosphere, unaware of what cheers to do and when to do them and what it all even means—some might even seem incredibly strange, even nonsensical. The task for new students, including myself, is to discover the meaning behind these beloved traditions and to understand what it truly means to be a “Superfan.”
The day begins tailgating on Shea Field, where, if you are a new student, you can often feel overwhelmed by the great number of people squeezed into what seems to be endless rows of cars. It is easy to feel lost in this sea of Superfan gold, but it is not hard to find a familiar and welcoming face to offer you food or to bring you to another tailgate. The sense of community is evident on Shea and it is here where new students get the first glimpse of what it means to be a part of the BC community. The energy and excitement for the upcoming game makes for a more enthused fan section as students file into Alumni.
Throughout the game, many different chants and rituals are done in the student section that can seem completely foreign to a new Eagle. The idea of standing for four quarters may seem agonizing as you try to balance yourself on a bleacher packed with fellow students. Suddenly, everyone participates in strange and silly hand gestures and chants as you attempt as best as you can to follow along. One chant in particular is the one when everyone puts their arms up and wiggles their fingers in a “spirit fingers”-like fashion during the kick off. While asking second-year Superfans the reasoning behind this, almost all had absolutely no clue. This ritual can seem strange—even awkward, yet it is funny nonetheless.
Another fun tradition includes tossing an unsuspecting girl Superfan into the air after an Eagle touchdown. The often terrified girl will be thrown up by a group of surrounding boys in the already crowded stands as many times as the number of points the Eagles have received. The idea of being thrown in the air in a crowd of people numerous times is absolutely terrifying, yet there exists a secret desire and hope among first-year girls to be hoisted up in order to experience one of BC football’s most loved traditions.
The sure sign that you are a true Superfan is sporting the bright gold Superfan t-shirt. The mustard-yellow color does not seem to look appealing on anyone, however, the shirts were worn in full force during the first two home games of the season. It is truly an awesome sight for a first-time student to see the crowds of gold filling the student section, showing that, for here, all truly are one. For a first time-student, however, it doesn’t matter how terrible you might think the color of the Superfan shirts make you look, as long as you have the opportunity to wear it.
All of us—first time students included—have worked tirelessly in high school classes and on applications in order to have the opportunity to attend BC. It is this great achievement that makes the seemingly silly traditions and unexplainable game day rituals worthwhile. All of our hard work has paid off and we finally get the chance to experience what it means to be a BC super fan and contribute to the spirit and camaraderie that exists in the fan section at every game. We may not know all the words to “For Boston” or know the meaning behind the spirit fingers, or even love the Superfan shirts. These are things we must learn as we learn to love BC as first-time students. The traditions may seem ridiculous, but they are what make us super fans and what invites us into the great community of BC. One chant we know for sure: “We are BC.”