The College Quickie: Start Them Young

It is finally here. As I write this College Quickie, the 2015 college football season has finally kicked off. North Carolina vs. South Carolina is under way while TCU vs Minnesota and Michigan vs Utah are on deck.

The Campus Pressbox podcast provided an informative and entertaining preview podcast and The SEC 411 primed you for a great tailgate. Knowing who should be great and what to eat are just two components of a great season. It is also important to be surrounded by the right company.

Throughout my years of watching college football, I have been in the company of many people. I was a Marching Mizzou member for 3 infamous years. I attended numerous seasons worth of games with my best friend, have been accompanied to games with my wife (both ex and current) and have shared many game day experiences with the Campus Pressbox social media network.

I have many cherished memories going to games with all of those people, but my most memorable game mate was with my then five-year-old daughter. The common assumption is that a father shares his love of sports with his son. Well, I don’t have a son, but I do have two Mizzou loving daughters. Each of my daughters show their black and gold colors in their own unique ways.

My oldest daughter is someone who embraced the Missouri Tigers instantly. She could hold her own in a MIZ-ZOU cheer and she even trash talked her preschool teacher who was an Oklahoma fan…not that I would ever condone such a thing.

She quickly became my go-to person to watch the game on television with.  I would stretch out on the floor and she would sit on my back, pompoms in hand. So at the age of 5, I decided it was time to take her to her first game.

It was the first game of the year, in the blazing early September sun against Arkansas St…yes, Damien, the rivalry between Mizzou and Arkansas St. does indeed go back that far. We arrived at the stadium with our Tiger tail attached to our car and Tiger ears firmly planted on top of our heads. We sat in what I consider to be the best seats in the house, the south endzone.

This was a game where the temperature was over 100 degrees. All of the water in the world couldn’t have made it any more bearable and we only lasted 1 quarter. We made the trek back to our car and decided it was time for some lunch.

Aiming to provide her the full game day experience, we went to my favorite college hangout, the Old Heidelberg. Cheeseburgers, fries and lemonade were on the menu and we finished with some ice cream from Sparky’s.

That blazing sun that chased us from the stadium turned into a torrential down pour on our two-hour drive home. It became so bad that after hydro-plaining, we pulled off at the Oak Grove truck stop as she clutched her sparkly pink pillow.

It may not have been a full game and I can only assume that the Tigers won…I mean, it was Arkansas St. But you know what? This is one of the most memorable games that I have ever been to and it is still something that my daughter talks about to this day.

So as you kick this weekend off and fire up the grill, pay attention to the people you’re spending your time with. It may be more memorable than you could ever imagine.

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