Sports Bring People Together

Here at Hungry Fan, I work with two interns each semester. They typically help out mostly with Hungry Fan App. This semester, one of my interns is Isabelle, who you may recognize from my Instagram and the Instagram account for Hungry Fan App. Isabelle has been with Hungry Fan for the entire year and is now in charge of the App’s social media, Instagram, and now…content. I asked Isabelle to write a blog about her experience as a Syracuse student at this weekend’s Sweet Sixteen games at the Carrier Dome.

I really like what Isabelle wrote. I think it hones in on what I happen to love and adore most about sports — the camaraderie amongst its fans — particularly fans who share in a love for a specific team. I encourage you all to read Isabelle’s posting. It is below. Please feel free to comment in the comment section underneath! More to come from Isabelle…

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You Gotta be Wearing Green!
By Isabelle Jenner

This weekend, Syracuse University hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball East Regional Tournament at the Carrier Dome. In the days leading up to the event, the campus bustled with an air of excitement, added security, and team buses coming in and out. As a Syracuse student (and salty about our team not being in the tournament), I wrote off the commotion on campus as something that didn’t concern me. But a friend offered me tickets to the Sweet Sixteen games on Friday night, and I couldn’t resist.

As a student at Syracuse University, I’ve never strayed far from the comforts of the student section for basketball games — tucked safely behind Otto’s Army and the Syracuse Marching Band’s dancing tubas. Until last night. I entered the Dome through the air-pressure controlled revolving doors, walked past the undesirable concessions, and glanced at my ticket: section 305, row S, seat 110. Yeah, the nosebleeds.

I started my hike to the tippy top. It was far and I felt like I was going to topple over the edge, but I liked the view up there by the ceiling.

Carrier Dome

We could see everything from up there. We could see the entire play develop on the court — every zone, every set up, every pass, every foul. We could also see everything happening logistically in the Dome from atop our perch — the event staff standing guard, NCAA representatives scurrying around in their blue and khakis carrying clipboards and credentials. We also had a surprisingly good view of what came next…

With five minutes left in the first game (N.C. State vs. Louisville), a man in a Michigan State Spartans shirt walked up the bleachers to just a little below us and started yelling at the top of his lungs, “I have a ticket in the fourth row — who wants it? Gotta be wearing green though! Gotta be wearing green!” A little boy raised his hand. As promised, the man in the green Michigan State shirt proceeded to give the little boy a ticket and gently ushered him down to the fourth row to sit with him and his family. They were practically courtside.

That got me thinking. I pondered fans and sportsmanship and camaraderie — especially in college sports. It seems to me that there are three things in life that people feel exceptionally strong about: religion, military/service, and their University affiliation. The latter was demonstrated during this game countless times. Michigan State is not geographically near Syracuse and the little boy who raised his hand was most likely a complete stranger to the man with the ticket. He didn’t know the boy, where he’s from, what he’s about…except that they’re fans of the same team.

And that’s what I love about sports. Sports bring people together and somehow manage to elude prejudice because “hey, if he’s wearing the same colors as I am, he’s a Spartan too. Then he must be a pretty alright dude!”

If one random act of kindness was performed in the name of sport camaraderie (Spartan camaraderie, this time), imagine other positive demonstrations and applications that sport can foster. The possibilities are endless.

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