the symphony of cowbells was deafening.

last saturday was a banner day for my house as northwestern, purdue, clemson, and clear springs won their football games. and as we are close to the end of the season when there is talk of bowl games,  every game is vital to us. also the fact that springs is in the playoffs. duh.


‘yeah, clemson. i love those tigers.’

‘you don’t even go there!’

‘but… but they beat bitches up.’


anyway, there was some cosmic silliness which caused all of our games to be on at the same time, which is just endlessly rude. and they didn’t even show the northwestern-rice game on tv!


so, we opted to go to the live game and support our local high school instead of participating in that silliness, even though we were in the stands, frantically checking our phones for score updates.

but springs was playing in their first play off game against some school i’d never heard of…

‘pillage and burn – its super duper!’

‘is this it? why is no one here?’

‘that’s the practice field. that’s the field we want.’


we got to the stadium and took our seats nearly at the 50 yard line with a perfect view of the field. of course, a perfect view of the field would also come with a few characters. as it turns out we sat right in the middle of a SEA OF PARENTS.

in front of me were the dads, calling all of the plays and yelling as much as the coaches.


while the moms were sitting at the end of the bleachers wearing jerseys that had their son’s number and said things like ‘brendan’s mom’ in comic sans glitter letters. to complete the ensemble they had earrings with little dangling footballs with their son’s number as well as black and blue cell phones covers, camera cases and braided bracelets.

this photo happened 100% by accident, but… win.

as the players began to march into the field through the blow up arch, everyone who had bought playoff cowbells at the entrance of the stadium rang them with such gusto it was hard to hear anything else but chaos.

with two minutes left in the first quarter, my dad and i decided that it seemed like an appropriate time for a beer and apparently the parent section did too as they loudly lamented the fact that cooper’s mom (cooper? seems right…)  had packed everything but booze.

‘y’all want some pistachios?’


springs defense was really doing work on the field and beat up the opposing quarterback pretty good and early in the game you could tell he was feeling it.

‘well if you get hit by dallas and then lacedarius, its like shampoo… rinse and repeat!’

(that dad was super proud of himself for that one.)

as we watched the players begin to tire, it seemed as if the springs boys got stronger and more intense, which could only be matched with a hyped up crowd.

‘he’s like “don’t hit me! don’t hit me!” next time we’ll blow ya up son!’

‘cain’t catch #6! everyone pulled they dang hamstring.’

‘he laid him out nice! next time he’ll give ya a pilla!’


just look at her go.

no she does not stop dancing to the band’s music for the entire game. she even danced with that horse head to the beat of the opposing school’s band.

i would just hate to sit behind her.  although, her spirit must be infectious because a woman a few seats over from her intermittently joined her with her own horse head. dad and i watched just about as much as we watched the game.

but she wasn’t the best part.  the incontestable best moment of the game was when the game clock ticked the end of the third quarter and everyone held up four fingers.

apparently we had skipped out too early during the last game to see such a great moment.

INAM: it’s not about me.  what a motto.

because the fourth quarter is our time. it was just magical to see it all happening around me with such silence in a big crowd.

although i have to say that i obviously prefer northwestern fourth quarter tradition.

you’ve just got to love the cute (and awkward) dancing, old people.

‘well we may not get to go huntin’ next week if we got a game. decisions… decisions… decisions…’

next game is tomorrow. i hope the hunters will be in the stands.

One thought on “the symphony of cowbells was deafening.

  1. Pingback: ‘what do you mean “game?” FOOTBALL IS LIFE.’ « the credibility gap.

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