Sunday, September 17, 2006

Norwich Football

On Saturday, I took my son over to Norwich University to see Norwich play Husson College. I'm not a big football fan; too slow paced with all the timeouts and whatnot. However, I do enjoy sitting in the stands on a beautiful warm September afternoon watching football.

I had never been to a football game at Norwich before. So, I didn't know what to expect. It was homecoming weekend so it was a big crowd. The Dockers crowd was out in full force with their cigars and beer buffalo bodies. However, nobody bothered us. The only trouble came from the noise of the event.

My son is four and still troubled by loud noises. So, we were in for a rough start when we stepped onto campus and found the entire Norwich football team jogging down the hill towards us. It was quite the thundering herd. It rattled my son a bit as he kept asking, "Why are they running at us?!?" Then we unfortunately got to the entrance of the stadium at the exact same time the marching band arrived. The crash-boom-bang of the band was enough to send him over the edge. He had had enough and we hadn't even gotten into the stadium.

Thankfully, the old gym was right behind us. So, we ducked into there. The great thing was that Norwich had a section of the gym set up with arts and crafts projects and games for the kids. So, we sat down and painted a bug catcher for a while and played a game of Chutes and Ladders. Parenthood means sometimes going to a football game and winding up playing Chutes and Ladders. It worked great though. He calmed down and we got into the game with about ten minutes left in the first quarter.

The game was fairly balanced with both teams scoring early and moving the ball up and down the field. Because it was so crowded and we got into the game late, we sat on the visitor's side. That was fine though because we were in that mid-70's sunshine which felt great that afternoon and the view of the hill and trees from that side is pretty nice.

We only made it to halftime before my little guy had seen enough. However, that was fine with me. With timeouts and injuries, the last four minutes of the second quarter had taken twenty minutes to play and I was bored out of my mind. Watching the continuous action of soccer definitely distorts your acceptance of downtime in other sports. I feel like screaming, "JUST PLAYING THE FRIGGIN' GAME!"

In the end, Husson beat Norwich 14-13 with Norwich's placekicker hitting the upright on the extrapoint and crossbar on a 48-yard field goal attempt with five seconds left in the game.

I don't think my son was won over by football either though. When I asked him what his favorite parts of the game were, he said the M&M's and sitting in the "little house" (aka the gazebo) in the park across the street from the campus as we left.

The other interesting part of the game was where we parked. Last December, I posted about the Lost New England Ski Areas Project and the old ski area that used to be run by Norwich University. Well, I was never quite sure where the ski area had been. However, I learned where it was on Saturday because they had us parking at the base of the old slopes. It's tucked in along the little road that surrounds the gazebo pictured above. You can clearly see where the slopes were cut and there seems to be a narrow trail up one of the slopes for hikers and/or mountain bikers. Maybe our next trip back there will be for a hike rather than a game.

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