Last Stop: San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO -- I didn't know exactly what to expect from college football fans when I first started this trip.
Mainly I pictured drunk students with their faces or chests painted in school colors, and there have been a few of those. However, I've been stunned to learn just how many fans there are at games that aren't students. This has been highlighted the past couple weeks as we've been at games played at neutral sites, but even at campuses there was still a huge non-student following.
What I've been most impressed with is the passion that these older fans have.
Matt and I spend a lot of our time just talking with all kinds of different fans. Some we meet tailgating, others we meet because they have some special way of displaying their fandom, and some fans see cameras and a microphone and just come running over. Today we met with a group of Missouri fans who live in San Antonio, and are all members of the San Antonio Chapter of Missouri Alumni Association. They meet up weekly to watch the games and today they were decorating the players' hotel to make the players feel welcome in a foreign city. We talked to them about their Tiger obsession in today's video called "Texas Tigers"
(Note: If you're a Mac user having trouble viewing this video, click here to download a program called Flip4Mac that will allow you watch it.)
Until this trip I thought I was a big sports fan, but meeting all of these different people has made me question just how passionate a fan I truly am. The fans I meet who i am most impressed with are the traveling fans. The fans that go on the road and follow their team to whatever state they happen to be playing in. Even more impressive are the traveling fans who travel to see their underachieving schools play in meaningless games. I'm constantly astounded when I meet fans this devoted to following their teams. In some ways I have two contradictory thoughts after talking to them. Part of me is happy that I don't have to invest so much of my time into following a particular team, but part of me is also jealous about the love they have.
Debbi has more passion than you.
On a different note, Going Big made it's final stop today as we pulled into San Antonio. So far this city totally weirds me out. Matt and I only got the chance to do a little exploring this afternoon, but it left us both thoroughly confused. For the most part we have been spending most of our time on this trip in relatively young cities (we were in Austin last night and it became one of my favorite cities), but San Antonio has a much older feel, both in terms of the buildings and the people. We mainly walked around the Alamo area which is obviously a huge tourist destination and found that the area was surprisingly devoid of anything but hotels.
Requisite Tourist Photo.
Even though our first San Antonio experience was a little weird, I remain optimistic that once the crazy traveling fans make it into town, it will make us feel more in our element.