Last spring, my sister Linda and I attended a MSSU basketball game for one of my first experiences. We had a fun afternoon, cheering on the team. At that time, I made a mental note to attend a MSSU football game this fall, as I have never been to a college level football game before.
Wednesday of this past week, I said aloud that I should check MSSU’s football schedule and check into getting tickets for a home game. The very next day, Thursday, I received an email from the office. One of our Joplin Globe sales reps had tickets for today’s Lion home game that she was giving away. I contacted her immediately to see if the tickets were still available. She dropped them by the office yesterday. I LOVE how things work out. Today I attended my first ever college football game. Greg accompanied me.
It was a beautiful evening for a football game. As we arrived at the MSSU football stadium, the sun was sinking into the west. Temps were in the 70’s. It was perfect short sleeve weather. Our seats were great….on the 50 yard line and up high enough to clearly see the entire field. We settled into our fold out stadium seats just as the MSSU Lions charged onto the field. Tonight’s game was with the Washburn Ichabods.
I’m glad we had a few minutes before kick off. My eyes were busy taking in my surroundings. Cheerleaders and the Lions dance team warmed up the crowd. The team mascot, a lion of course, moved into place near the cheer leaders. The band, clad casually in jeans, T-shirts and ball caps, filled a section of the bleachers. And fans were finding their seats and chatting merrily with each other. I’m a people watcher. It was fun, during time outs, to watch the fans, watching the game.
The game got off to a quick start, with Southern and Washburn both scoring touchdowns in their first possessions. The game shifted rapidly however, with the Green and Gold dominating the field. It was a fast paced and fun game. I think I could get “into” football, if I watched often enough! The man sitting in front of us was friendly and turned around often to comment on the plays and the game in general. While there were a few others nearby who felt it necessary to criticize the players, the coaches, the plays, this nice guy primarily made statements about what was actually going on.
The Lion’s Pride Marching Band was great to listen to during time outs and the MSSU fight song was played each time the Lions made a touchdown. I enjoyed their half time performance as well. Tonight was a Hall of Fame Game and also Band Alumni Night so past band members joined in on the first half time song after several athletes were inducted into Southern’s Hall of Fame. There were other fun activities during the game, including a chariot race among several of the fraternities/sororities, a pass for cash contest, in which a guy won $250, and T-shirts and footballs were tossed into the crowd, much to the delight of the fans.
MSSU has a spacious and updated stadium, although their scoreboard could use an upgrade. Renovations are ongoing in the sports complex with a new building under construction to house locker rooms and coaches’ offices, and a practice field is being created as well. The fans were in a grand mood, and almost as interesting to watch as the game. The Lions played well, with several amazing plays including an 80 yard pass play for a touchdown, and a tough defense that stopped the Ichabods on the goal line more than once.
I had a wonderful time, chowing down on a hotdog, cheering, clapping, and watching it all. The Lions won with a final score of 42 to 21. I’d enjoy attending another game sometime. This weekend I caught part of a Carl Junction high school football game, watched Joey’s third grade team win this afternoon and finished the day with my first college game. I think I’ll check into a pro football game next…the KC Chiefs perhaps!