As the cold weather sets in and the trees loose their colorful leaves, outdoor programs are becoming much less fun. Fortunately, there is always something to do in the city and the surrounding area. For example, it is a good idea to watch sports live. I have always wanted to see a real American football game and experience the excitement around it. Luckily I had the chance to see a game from up close, it even made it into the news the next day! I have been looking for events in my area on Facebook, which is a great way to find out what other New Yorkers are doing. This is how I have come across a college football game of Harvard vs. Yale. Of course both of them are well known universities and I have heard of them before. I have already visited the Harvard campus last year, when I was visiting Boston. It looks totally like Hogwarts! Later I have found out that there is a huge rivalry between the two schools and the game is the biggest annual college sports event that everyone is looking forward to. I have decided to go, as it only happens once a year! I also have a connection with Yale, as many of my colleagues and all the partners have graduated from Yale and that forms a strong culture within the firm. I have bought a ticket into the Yale fan area.
The event was located in New Haven in the Yale Bowl, near the university campus. New Haven is quite the train ride from New York, but fortunately it isn’t that much from Greenwich, where I live. It is about a 90 minute train ride. The train passes by beautiful seaside towns, so the view is great. When I arrived to New Haven, the excitement could already be felt in the air, as many people have travelled there only for the game. The car was full of people wearing Yale beanies and hoodies. There was a bit of commotion at the taxi stand, so many students have decided to take the 30 minute walk to the stadium. I have decided to take a very expensive Uber.
It was very easy to get into the event with my printed ticket. I had an assigned seat, so I didn’t have to worry about the crowd. I got myself a hotdog and a hot coffee, as it was quite cold already and the game was outdoors. I got to my seat which had a good view of the Yale bench and the baseline. I had to do some research about the game rules to understand the play better. It isn’t that complicated, so I could enjoy watching the game and cheer for the team.
The American football game, or simply football as they call it here, can be very long. It has a set time limit of 4x 15 minutes, but it can be extended a lot by timeouts and penalties, especially towards the end. I have set there for more than an hour and only the first half was completed. There were many people outside the stadium tailgating in the parking lot. Tailgating is when you open the trunk of your car and use it as a table or bench to eat and drink. Some people have brought proper grills and they were cooking burgers and drinking beer all day. They weren’t even interested in the game…
I have only stayed until halftime, as there was a student protest that halted the game. Later, I found out the game was delayed for one hour and they played a lot more for a tight final score. I don’t know how anyone can be outside for so long in such a cold. The protesters were from both universities and they wanted to raise awareness for climate change and urged the universities to stop accepting donations from non-environmental friendly donors.
The game was a lot of fun and I might start watching more American football! The two schools will clash again this weekend, but this time it’s ice hockey in the Madison Square Garden. Very excited already!