Brock University’s homecoming weekend is coming up. The event-filled two days will take place on Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, Sep. 22 this year, with the Steel Blade Classic game being played a week earlier (this Friday, Sep. 13). Usually around this time of year is when you start to hear the chatter about how Brock needs a football team, or that homecoming weekend isn’t the same if you don’t have a football team. I’m sure there are many students at Brock who visit their friends during their homecoming weekend at other schools and attend football games there.
I used to live in Ohio, which, like many other states, is crazy about their football. For anyone who has read Sidelines at all over the past two years, you were either happy or heavily annoyed with the amount of college football talk during the fall. Sorry (not sorry). When you live in the states, and for anyone who might be extremely passionate about football, the way the football world is set-up is so that there is not one night of your weekend where you don’t have some form of football to watch.
Friday nights are for high school football (and allow me to take a moment to say Friday Night Lights was one of the best TV shows ever). Saturdays are for college football, and Sundays are for the National Football League (NFL). Realistically, from the second you start watching your local high school team on a Friday night, by the time you wake up Saturday, you can already be tuned in to numerous pre-game shows prior to those lovely college kickoffs at noon.
Now, with many college football teams playing on other days of the week (Tuesday or Thursday), as well as Monday Night Football, you realistically may only have to survive one lousy night without watching football.
What’s my point? My point is this — even having lived in the football-crazed culture, I don’t think homecoming weekends need to have a football game to feel like a homecoming weekend.
One of the benefits of not having a football team at a university (or even high school) is that when homecoming rolls around, there are a plethora of other sports for students, staff and alumni to watch. Are those games there even at schools where there is football? For sure, but football takes the attention away from most of those teams. For many students, homecoming may be the first time they decide to go out to see a game, so isn’t it a good thing that they might go watch a team that may not usually get a huge crowd? Maybe that person will go watch rugby or soccer and decide they want to go back and see another game or two.
Even when the Steel Blade Classic is played on the Friday night of homecoming weekend, it’s done the right way. The soccer, rugby, baseball or softball games are usually on Saturday and Sunday, so while hockey may be considered a sport that gets more attention, people can attend hockey on the Friday and still see other teams play the rest of the weekend.
Don’t complain about not having a football team. It’s not a necessity to tie together homecoming weekend. Go see other teams play, show your support for those athletes and enjoy the atmosphere of their games.