With the end of the high school football season approaching, I thought it would be a good time to recap some of the people I have met at these events over the last year or so. For the sake of privacy, and comedy, I have here reduced them to cartoonish stereotypes. Here are the five people you meet at a high school football game…
1) Statue Man – This guy is always found at the very end of the row that you want to sit on. The distinctive feature of Statue Man is that, no matter how you ask, plead, shout, demand, or whatever else, he will not move even an inch to let you by. Usually, he plays this off by acting like he is so focused on the game that he didn’t see you. But come on, guy, you could at least swing your legs to the side awkwardly after I stumble and end up sitting on your lap…
2) Mr. Intensity – This guy* is the guy who shouts himself hoarse during the first quarter of each game. His is usually shouting at the officials about calls that they missed, or at the coaches for bad calls, or about players for bad technique or effort. He is, of course, an expert in all these areas, as well as anything else that anyone around him is talking about. Normally about once each drive, he will realize how obnoxious all of his negative shouting is and loudly praise a player or coach, usually after a meaningless, routine, or otherwise un-praiseworthy play. You should bring earplugs and possibly a catcher’s chest protector with you in case you find yourself sitting next to Mr. Intensity.
3) The Socializer – Experience confirms that, if 500 students from a school show up to the school’s football game, only one actually cares about the game**. The other 499 are just there to socialize – talk, text, flirt, posture, try to impress their friends and cute members of the opposite sex, etc. The main function of the Socializer is to clog the area in front of the concession stand, causing it to take half a quarter for you to buy a pack of Skittles and a coke.
4) The Booster – The Booster is a parent, usually a mom, who is fulfilling their obligation to help raise money for the school’s athletic department by working the concession stand, selling raffle tickets, etc. The motives of the Booster are often misunderstood. She is not simply trying to make the sale in order to support the team; she is also trying to make the sale to keep the other Boosters from turning on her and casting her out into the utter darkness. If you find yourself in a showdown with a Booster, don’t be afraid, and don’t cave in out of sympathy for their plight. They can smell fear and weakness. Instead, stand your ground, try to make yourself look as big as possible, and shout nonsensically until the security guard comes over****. By then, the Booster will have left to stalk new prey.
5) The Stage Mom – This is the parent (usually the mom of a cheerleader) who has “stage mom syndrome”, i.e. is totally convinced that her little angel is a star in the making. Possibly a former high school cheerleader herself, The Stage Mom will spend the entire game shouting encouragement and cheerleading tips to her daughter, who usually looks back in embarrassment/disgust, wishing that her mom would just tone it down a little bit. She will also make snarky comments to those around her about how “that girl next to her on the squad has really put on some weight…” or how the cheerleading coach needs to try out some of her ideas. She will also perform the hand motions in the cheer along with her daughter. The Stage Mom is so focused on her little angel’s performance that she might actually leave the stadium after the game and not realize that a football game was even played. As with Mr. Intensity, you should pack some ear protection in case you end up next to her.
So that’s it! Those are the five most common people I’ve run into at high school football games. What about you? Who did I miss?
* and it is always a guy, usually the parent of a football player
** in reality, this statistic is really more like .31 out of 500, but we rounded up to the nearest whole person***
*** in reality, this statistic is entirely made up
**** if you actually do this, please have a friend record it, post it to YouTube, and send me the link