10 Reasons Why H.S. Football Games Were The Best

by Emily Kelley

I grew up in a small town in central California, where high school football was a very big deal. We are talking a Friday Night Lights kind of big deal. Like, half the town came out to watch every game every single week. So, I’m basically an expert on the types of things that happen at high school football games.

I grew up loving football (Green Bay Packers fan in the house!), and I started going to my high school’s games as a sophomore. Friday nights were always electric, especially in the fall. Our team was in a good conference, and had a long history of excellence — so going to games always gave you an extra boost of Bearcat spirit. I actually covered football for my high school paper for two years, and went to every single game (home and away) during my senior year — which means I’ve been privy to all of the stereotypical happenings of high school games.

Now, not every high school football experience will be the same, obviously. But these are just some of the things that happened to me during my high school years — and I have to admit that I miss those crisp Friday nights dearly.

1. Um, a football game was played

As much as high school football games are a social event, there is an actual sport that goes on during the games. Like, with players who've trained really hard, and coaches who put in long hours to make sure they win. It was easy to forget that sometimes, even though the game was going on right in front of you.

2. People would hook up

In my day, football games were perfect date spots — or make out spots (not that my awkward shy self knew anything about that). Think about it: it’s like the easiest group date option. You’re surrounded by your friends and classmates, and you don’t have to do a ton of talking if you don’t want to. I know of quite a few relationships that blossomed on the metal bleacher benches.

3. People would break up

Get enough teenagers in the same place, and there is bound to be drama. I guarantee that you saw at least a couple people either crying, or storming out flanked by reassuring friends.

4. You would see that not-so-fun teacher actually having fun

I'm sure we all had at least one teacher who, well, was kind of strict. But come Friday night... they were smiling and cheering and celebrating with the rest of us. It was always kind of funny to see them back to their old selves on Monday.

5. You would find yourself covered in silly string, glitter, or someone's spilled drink

Our football games used to get a bit rowdy, especially in the “senior section” where I sat even when I wasn’t a senior, and sometimes you left games with some junk on you. A few people used to buy these giant bags of glitter to throw every time we scored, and let me tell you — that stuff does not come off easily. I still have little bits of glitter on one of my jackets eight years later.

6. You’d know all of the cheers by the end of the night

Cheers haven’t really changed much over the years, nor are they that hard to memorize. By the end of the game, you would be cheering along with the cheerleaders.

7. At least one football parent would get a little too into the game

Of course, it's great when parents come to their kids' games, but sometimes they can get a little intense. Our school had to ban air horns and mega phones, because a few overzealous parents really wanted to show how much they cared — or how much they didn't appreciate how the game was going.

8. You'd get REALLY into the game

I grew up watching football on TV with my dad, but it wasn’t until I started going to my high school games regularly that I really started to like football. I had a bunch of friends on the team, so I learned all their positions and numbers. I learned the rules, because I wanted to know when I should really be mad at the refs. Even after one game, you’d start to get why people love this sport so much.

9. Someone would try to sneak in booze

Obviously, I can’t condone underage drinking — but it happens. In my day, people would try to hide alcohol in 20 oz. cups, and pass it around. It occasionally worked, too, until someone got sloppy.

10. Alumni would show up to grace you with their presence

My small town was the kind of place where not many people left after high school. So every football game, you always had a few alumni come to watch all decked out in their senior letterman jackets — even if they graduated 10 years ago, and have been working at the car dealership down the street. That didn't stop people from treating them like celebrities, though.

Image: NBC; Giphy (10)