Ellie – Regis University, USA
Semester 2, 2016
Besides being an opportunity of a lifetime, one of the reasons I wanted to study abroad in America was to experience it’s sporting culture. I study Exercise Science and wanted to view sport from an American perspective. I grew up playing, watching and talking about any sport I could, so when I was accepted into the program I couldn’t wait to witness college sport first-hand, as well as watch a number of different sporting codes that are not offered at home.
To the Americans surprise, baseball is not a major sport back in Australia. I suppose our equivalent of a sport being played over a number of days, with many long innings which involves hitting a ball with a bat is cricket. Both of which I do not fully understand. One Friday night, a group of friends and I headed to Coors Field, Denver’s baseball stadium located next to downtown. We had reserved seats somewhat close to the diamond but you can book some seats for as low as $4. There are nine innings played so attending the baseball is such a social event with plenty of in-match entertainment to keep the fans involved. The match was against the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres with the Rockies just managing to end up on top in the last inning.
I was lucky enough to have my parents stop by in Denver whilst on a three week trip around The States. My father was very persistent that we attend an NFL (American football) match while they were visiting, watching the reining premiers, Denver Broncos play against the Indianapolis Colts. Although very expensive (ticket prices start at around $100), it was well worth it and apparently there is not a bad seat in the house. The stadium was filled with a sea of orange, a very loud sea of orange. The match was unlike anything we had ever seen back home! The fans were all so enthusiastic which created an atmosphere more energetic than any AFL grand final. I was sure the fans would tire, but no, they maintained their intense support for the entire match. That was another thing I found surprising, the match went for three hours despite only consisting of four quarters of fifteen minutes. It is very start stop game but exciting to watch. Fortunately for us, we had a couple of fans in front of us that explained the rules, plays and most importantly, the things we had to yell out as any Broncos fan would. Denver ended up winning in the final moments and as you can imagine, the crowd went wild.
As you have probably gathered by now, I am a big fan of sport so watching the AFL grand final was a necessity. I managed to find the only place in Colorado showing the match and dragged two Swedish exchange students along with me. With the time difference, it was about 10pm on the Friday. Ironically, the pub was home to the Denver Bulldogs, an AFL team over here, primarily consisting of fellow Australians. My friends could not believe the knocks the players take, all for the umpire to just continue play. It was also a great match but I’m sure you already know that.
In the coming weeks I have plans to watch the NBA (basketball) and NHL (ice hockey), both of which are currently in pre-season. It should be an experience, I cannot wait.