The Aspects of a Gull Lake Football Game

September 29, 2012

Tonight, I went to my first football game as a Senior in High School. I used to go to them all the time when I was younger, but I’ve sorta fallen out of that habit. I went tonight, though. And it was so nostalgic I almost felt nauseous. Nauseous with nostalgia.

At a Gull Lake Football Game, there are certain vivid Aspects that we all experience as Gull Lakers. In this post, I’d like to talk about the value of a High School Football Team and the way that it’s affected my Life and the Lives of almost every other Gull Laker.

The Awkward Middle School Stage That We All Went Through

On the far side of the Football Field, there’s a grassy area that is always entirely inhabited by Awkward Middle Schoolers going completely wild on the sugar they just devoured from the concession stand. And there’s no shame because we all went through this when we were in Middle School. We all bugged our older siblings or our parents to drive us out to the home Football Game where we would quickly scurry off to find our circle of friends that we would desperately cling to for the rest of the night.

Ah, Middle School. How horribly awkward. Anyone that reached their prime in Middle School is going to lead a very sad, sad Life.

The Band’s Performance

Honestly, this is probably my favorite part of every Football Game. The Gull Lake High School Marching Band is chock-full of friends of mine and I love to hurry to the fence each half-time to watch them perform.

Last year was, without a doubt, the best Band Show I’ve seen in my 6 years of going to Football Games. Not only was the music impressive, the band took the Show a step further by adding a story enacted by the Drum Majors (Tanner, Callie, and Ross). The story was that of a warrior (Tanner) denied his chance at knighthood by his Queen (Callie) because the title went to a soldier more worthy (Ross). As the Gull Lake Marching Band played the epic and dramatic score, Tanner wove his way through the crowded field, fighting clarinet players and color-guard soldiers, all in a quest to seek revenge on Callie. In the final moments of Part One, Tanner finally reached Callie’s “castle” and Callie dove from her Drum Major Podium into the waiting arms of her color-guard knights. Tanner took Callie’s spot on the Podium and flourished his arms dramatically as one final note boomed from the band. In Parts Two and Three, Ross, ever his Queen’s servant, fought his way into Tanner’s domain and struck him down. This usually resulted in a huge roar of approval from the crowd.

It was probably the most well-recieved Band Show.

The Lovely Ladies

The Senior girls always take it upon themselves to spear-head the support for our Football players. T-shirts are made every year among a certain crowd of girls, (who I hear take a blood oath to be at every football game) each sporting the name of a different Senior Football player. Then, at the games themselves, they can usually be found in the front row with their t-shirts rolled or tied up to reveal their midriffs and their bellies painted in blue and white. They are the loudest of any section in the bleachers.

Walking Tacos

Maybe every school has these. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did. But, to me, they just seem so…Gull Lake. Them seem so homely. I’d like to believe the only place on this planet that you can get a Walking Taco is at the concession stand at a Gull Lake home Football Game. It’s pretty simple…and, yet, so delectable. A Walking Taco is an opened bag of Fritos corn chips filled with cheese, meat, and salsa. It’s most frequently eaten with a spoon. And it is good.

The 3rd Quarter

Another great part about Football Games is when the Band kids are released to mingle during the 3rd Quarter. (Right after the half-time show, which usually means they’re covered in sweat from their recent workout and all they want is some cool, night air.) They’re given just this one break and they generally all file out to the concession stand to grab a quick snack, and then desperately try to fit in as much enjoyment from their couple minutes of freedom before they return to playing the fight song.

School Spirit

I’ve never had much of it. And I’ve never really thought about it. Today, though, we had a pep assembly about the game that was played tonight. The game was, to quote the slogan “More than a game!” It was also a fund-raising event for cancer research. So, the pep assembly involved an introduction by the head Football Coach, Coach Hiller. And then a speech by a local cancer survivor and slam poet. Personally, I did sort of find Coach Hiller rather threatening and I thought his point was missed in his harshness. The slam poet was an amazing speaker, he seemed unbelievably natural in front of a crowd and his message of “pursuing a Life to help others instead of oneself” was timeless. But this is all sort of off track. Sort of. See, the other point of a pep assembly is to…raise “pep”? Or get people excited about their school. Our pep assemblies don’t usually go very well because we really don’t have a ton of School Spirit. We don’t have a particularly amazing Football team, but I don’t think that’s the problem. Coach Hawkins, my AP Literature teacher, said today that having a school filled with Spirit was one of his favorite parts of High School. And so, I’m determined to discover why Gull Lake doesn’t have that. A lot of people, including the slam poet, (a Gull Lake graduate) seem to believe that it might be because Gull Lake is split up into “Haves” and “Have Nots” (AKA: People who live the high life out on Gull Lake, and the people whose families struggle to make ends meet.) Neither is better. Neither is worse. But it is a prominent division in our school. I realize that this tangent is really far off from what the rest of this blog is about. But it’s part of Football Games and just something to speculate on.

In the end, though, Football Games have been a part of my growing up. Whether I’m there to support the Band or just to socialize, I always leave feeling like it was a Friday night well spent. It was a Friday night in which I was able to interact with my community. The community that I grew up in. It’s nice to feel that sense of community. Now, if only it existed more apparently in the school.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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