Opinions, Column

Franceschini: A Freshman, Football, and the Pandemic

College football is a right of passage for Boston College students. But as with everything, things are different this year. BC students have to find new ways to watch the game and support our team while still maintaining social distancing practices. 

The feeling of FOMO can be overwhelming, especially when other schools are allowing students to attend games. This FOMO is only heightened among the freshman class because it’s a natural freshman desire to fit in and be a part of something, college football included. 

That FOMO is hitting the freshman class particularly hard. Part of it is linked to social media, which tends to exacerbate the feeling of being left out. When you log onto Snapchat or Instagram and see friends from high school tailgating or cheering in the stands, it’s hard not to feel like something’s missing. 

Even as someone who enjoys football, but doesn’t major in it, coming into BC, I was excited to be able to cheer on a team I could truly call my own. Part of this might come from the fact that my home teams are the New York Giants and The Jets which are two sinking ships that I jumped ages ago. Regardless, just like every other freshman, I was looking forward to packing into the stands and losing my voice from cheering. 

College football might not be what it’s been for every single freshman class before us. But I wouldn’t trade the memory of watching the game with my floor on a blurry projection on the lounge wall for anything. 

While it’s still fun to watch football on the television, I don’t worship the sport enough not to be disappointed by the lack of tailgating and field-storming. Still, if football is a sort of religion, then shifting from NFL football to college football feels like converting. I feel like I’ve found home. 

When I used to watch football at home, it was always an event that I felt ostracized from because I never truly understood how the game worked. If I’m being completely honest, sometimes I would lose the ball on the screen, and when the play ended, it was a total surprise that it even moved a yard. Worse, if I tried to run the risk of asking a stupid question—like “Can someone explain to me what a fumble is?” or “Why are they calling unnecessary roughness. Isn’t the entire sport unnecessarily rough?”—I’d have a room full of eyes turning on me because I’d disrespected American culture. 

But college football is a completely different watching experience. For the first time, I’m proud to represent my team instead of dreading the inevitable, crushing loss to come (Giants fans, you know this is true, don’t try and argue with me here). Beyond that, people at BC actually take the time to explain the game—and when you know what’s going on, it’s actually fun to yell at the screen! Especially when BC uses Pitt as a dishtowel.

Featured Graphic by Ally Mozeliak / Heights Editor

October 13, 2020