I took my roommate to a Buffalo Bills game for his birthday this past Sunday, Dec. 2, because he had never attended an NFL game before. Despite having to stand in the cold, rainy weather that Buffalo seems to be plagued with, we both had a good time because attending a live NFL game is one of the most exciting things a sports fan can do.
We got lucky enough to attend a game the Bills actually won. When the home team runs all over the other team’s defense — literally in our case, with running backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson combining for 39 carries against the Jacksonville Jaguars — the atmosphere at most NFL stadiums is amazing. People are in a frenzy — chanting, cheering and booing the refs — until their team is about to run a play. At that moment, the whole stadium quiets down. Every team has its own chants, so it is refreshing to go to games outside of your hometown. Before last Sunday, I’d only been to Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs.
It also doesn’t matter if you’re not a fan of either team — I could care less about Buffalo and their opponents, the Jacksonville Jaguars — because, if you are a football fan, you most likely have players you like on other teams.
For me, those players were Jackson, Spiller and Bills defensive end Mario Williams. As a bonus, the Jaguars had picked up former Eagles defensive end Jason Babin the week before, so I got to see one of my favorite Eagles players, too.
If you have players on your fantasy team, it is also fun to cheer them on live — instead of yelling at the TV screen, I was able to yell directly at Spiller when he was on the sidelines.
Some may be hesitant to attend a game because of the cost, but if you play your cards right, it can be fairly inexpensive. Eat and drink before and after the game, because $12 burgers just aren’t worth it. Also, unless you plan on tailgating with others, it is best to park away from the stadium in driveways that private individuals rent out on Sundays. That cuts costs down by $15 to $20. Finally, buy the tickets over the summer. I got fifth row, 20-yard line tickets for $70, partly because of the match-up, but also because I bought December tickets in August.
If $70 is too much, you can always buy $25 nosebleeds and walk down to the sidelines and stand at the railing. My point is, live NFL games are affordable and fun, so there is no reason not to attend them.
If you’re still not convinced, consider this: There are no commercials at live games. Yep. I don’t know about you, but that’s reason enough for me.
Ondo is a member of the class of 2014.