You Call This A Stadium? How To Chose A College Football Team (Part 6)

We're one step away from quite possibly the biggest decision of your life, and there's still a couple of big things to look at: Stadiums and Chanting.

The important thing about the stadium is that you're going to be making a pilgrimage there on potentially an 8-out-of-12 week basis.

And stadiums have atmospheres - that's why we'll go with architecture first, chanting seconds. After all, the chanting's the fun bit and the most memorable bit out of the decision you'll make (remember the LSU chant from earlier this week).

How does your stadium look?

College football stadia are generally a much of a muchness: long seats of metal bleachers where you'll be sitting - or standing on, leading down on a heck of an angle. They'll either go all of the way round (Ann Arbor, Notre Dame) or they'll be four different-ish looking sides (Penn State). Your teams will try and 'expand capacity' by reducing the size of your seat room and then jacking up the price. Remember to say thank you when you take to eating nothing in the summer in preparation to sit between two 300 pound people during the autumn.

Texas' Jumbotron - featured in Sports Illustrated - is a pretty lovely thing for avid TV goers, and we'd love to find a ground that would just play ESPN's halftime show at, er, halftime, so we can catch up on game highlights. Most stadiums have a big screen, so you won't have to worry about looking at a replay.

Where can I get a beer?

Remember, also that tailgating's important. The University of Mississippi fans have "The Grove", while Penn State fans tailgate on fields outside of Beaver Stadium, University of Georgia kids party on campus. It's a spectacular occasion (unless, ahem, you get yelled at for peeing in a public place). If you have a boat - or know someone who has one and is an ardent Vols fan, the University of Tennessee's 'Vol Navy' is a nice part of school life, but the tailgating - generally in a parking lot around the stadium - sucks....especially in August (heat + September + 90% humidity= melting). It's also helpful to have non-pushy policeman - you need for cops to give you a break if you're drinking in public.

Mind you, are there any schools where policeman go crazy if fans are having an 'open container' before the games?

What are my fellow fans like?

Generally, there are two sides to every set of fans. You'll meet nice fans and you'll meet other fans who can only be described as degenerates.
Remember this though: they might be degenerates, but they are YOUR degenerates.

And if you're looking for an atmosphere where you're strongly advised to bring earphones, it's Autzen Stadium, home of the University of Oregon.



Oh, and here's a list of the VFA's 'must-attend list' - we haven't been to them all: