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Column: Distractions abound at Ohio football games

This weekend I got to attend my first OU football game.

I was worried about going to the game because I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the action on the field, but what I found out was that the action on the field was maybe only 40 percent of what was going on at Peden.

After three hours of being bombarded by advertisements, pop music, costumes, relentless shouting and stepping over a possibly passed-out drunk person to get away from the still-standing drunk people, I don’t feel like I went to a sporting event. I feel like I went to the circus.

My rudimentary knowledge of football was not an obstacle, because I couldn’t even concentrate on the game with all the indefatigable stimuli around me.

The commercial aspect of the game was probably the most distracting, and more than a few steps outside the bounds of reasonable. I’m not sure exactly how this works, but somehow Citizens Bank sponsors the Bobcats’ first downs? So every time the team gets a first down, the announcer has to call it a Citizens Bank First Down, and then play a sound effect of a wildcat growling over the loudspeaker. It was a bit excessive.

Speaking of excessive, there was also — for some reason I don’t quite grasp — a cannon that fired every time OU scored. If our team were called the Pirates or the Buccaneers, I might buy into the cannon gimmick, but I don’t see how it fits into the Bobcats concept.

In between plays, there were all kinds of wacky, nonsensical spectacles happening on the field: fans kicking field goals for Taco Bell gift cards, people rolling tires across the end zone for discounts on car insurance, the Hamburglar and the purple dude from McDonald’s running around on the sidelines, lots of photo ops and at least one giant check. How no one else seemed to be as baffled as I was by this mania is amazing.

At the end of the game (yes, I stayed until the end), the only thing I knew for sure was that we won. In fact, I think our dominance over New Mexico State was the only thing I was sure of during the entire game. I might not have understood why there were 21 high school bands playing “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction at halftime, but I did understand that there was no way the Aggies stood a chance at beating us.

Considering my status as an uneducated observer, I approached my first football game fully prepared to be confused.

What I wasn’t prepared for was being confused by everything except the football game itself. The plays and the points all made much more sense to me than the ridiculous animations on the scoreboard or the concessions booths charging $3 for “Bobcat Water.”

I decided that I like the football team, but I’m not so sure I like the games. From now on, I’m going to make my attempts at following the sport from a distance, because I don’t think I can handle the sensation overload of watching the games from the O Zone.

Haylee Pearl is a sophomore studying journalism and a copy editor for The Post. Why is there a cannon at the football games?

Let her know at hp208310@ohiou.edu.

 

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