by Catherine Arjet
A few weeks ago a friend and I decided to go to a football game three quarters in. We walked right into the stands and watched the last quarter of the game. We hung out and talked while watching our classmates play. At some point, the announcer told us the name of the player who’d just completed a pass, and I turned to my friend and said, “I think that kid sat in front of me in finance last year.” Almost everyone at Millsaps has had this kind of experience. Whether you’re sitting in the stands cheering on a friend or half watching from a tent in the tailgate section, you’ve probably gone to a game. Whether it’s football, basketball, soccer or any of the other sports Millsaps students play, you pretty much watch the game the same way: you grab a friend or two and head down to the field, or court realize how much homework you have or get too hot and leave half way through, and that’s okay, because no one really minds. It’s very casual and very easy. I love it.
Many of my friends from high-school went to huge state schools with amazing sports teams, the kinds that regularly make national news. Their football stadiums seat over 100,000 people and are regularly sold out. They can’t decide to go to the game on a whim because they don’t have anything else to do on a Saturday afternoon, or even because they have a friend playing and they want to support them. If they want to go, they have to spend large amounts of money (or win a lottery for discounted student tickets) and they generally end up in the nosebleed seats where you can barely see the action. They can’t lean on the fence by the tailgating section or waltz into the stands and get first or second row seats like we can. Even if they could, they probably wouldn’t see anyone they know play, because at these huge schools, the percent of student athletes is so much smaller. Sure, they have a lot of advantages we don’t (their school gear is sold at Walmart and all their games are televised), but I think we also have something really special. I love the fact that I can go to any game I want and that I will probably know at least some of the players. Even though the Majors will probably never make the front page of any paper, I’m so glad I went to a Division III school. If you haven’t gotten to experience this yet, I suggest you do soon. It’s really part of the Millsaps experience