Welcome back to the blog, let’s jump back into things on the 17th of September, which turns out to be the first home American Football game for UAlbany. We’d already won 2 games away from home, but this was the first game that we were able to go to. There was a pregame party happening at 5:00 pm event though the game started at 7:00 pm. One of my main reasons for going was because I was informed that there was going to be free food, but it turned out you needed a meal plan in order to enjoy this food (I was deeply disappointed with this 😦 ).
The other headed there a bit earlier, so I had make my way there on my own and catch up to them there. The ‘party’, wasn’t really a party, just a load of stands and little games to play before the game. I also met Alex here, Hugo’s flatmate who’s American and is from the Albany area. We hung around for a bit, although we did queue in line to win a t-shirt only to be told they’d run out, so we just took some pens (they weren’t much of a consolation though!). We then proceeded to the stadium where it soon filled up at lightning speed. Also, when the players came out on the field, I was surprised at how many there were, as I think there was about 100 players per team (just a disclaimer: I know next to nothing about American Football).
They had the typical American display, with the cheerleaders and the band on the filed to get the crowed hyped up (although a lot of people in the crowed were already way to energetic and loud!). Each quarter went on for 15 minutes, except it didn’t!!! Like baseball there was so much stopping and starting, so in actual fact the game lasted for about 2 hours! Like at the soccer game, the crowd were quite happy with hurling personal insults at the other teams players, which I still don’t really like.
Also, apparently Geraint (my brother) somehow managed to find a way to watch the start of the game back home, which was cool considering how far away we were from each other, yet we were watching the same thing at the same time. During halftime the mini crystal maze bouncy castle made a return and there were fireworks, because they use them for everything here! I did in the end enjoy my first live American Football game, but I still feel it goes on for too long, we won by the way, so that’s 3 wins in a row now!
Sunday the 18th was a more relaxed day, as I went to the library and just watched some more ‘Heroes’. There was a thing called ‘Block Party’ going on on campus, I had a brief look at it but it wasn’t really that interesting to me. Although my roommate did come back from it with a goldfish! I feel really bad for it, it’s just living in a kettle and just has pieces of bread and lettuce floating in it’s ‘bowl’ as food. I don’t think he’s going to last long the poor thing.
Monday the 19th marked me being in America for a whole month! It’s gone by very quickly but at the same time it’s been very slow at times. I feel like in a month, I’ve made a good start and have met so many people from all over the globe and that makes me rather happy about the whole thing. Before coming here I had no idea if I was going to manage or how I was going to get to know people, things have gone well so far, but there’s still a long way to go!
The 20th to the 22nd was not that interesting, other than class happening but that’s not really all that interesting. The only thing that’s really worth noting is that I had to hand in an English paper on T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, which I’d studied in year 12 as part of my English Lit class with Mr. Higginson (one of my favourite teachers). I thought it wouldn’t be too hard, but I had no idea what I was doing and I think my paper was awful but I’ll just have to wait and see.
The 23rd of September featured 2 of my favourite things combined into one: FREE PIZZA!!! That was my lunch sorted, it also provided an opportunity to see Christina and Kristian again, as their lack of WiFi makes it very difficult to organise things with them unfortunately. The reason there was free pizza being given out, was because the football team were trying to bribe people into going to the game the next day (not the worst tactic ever, it worked with me). After class and studying was done for the day, it was time for our weekly dinner together. This time it was chili con carne at Hugo and Alex’s place. As always the food was amazing thanks to Hugo and his top class french cooking skills, after dinner we played some card games (including SPOONS and Werewolf) and ‘Battle of the sexes’. Also today, I was very proud and pleased that Swansea University was announced as the No. 1 University in Wales! (beat that Cardiff 😛 ).
On Saturday the 24th, there was this thing happening called ‘Lark Fest’ on one of the streets downtown. We were a bit behind schedule as we stayed up until about 1:00 am last night, we almost missed the bus and we had to run there in order not to miss it. After all that fuss, we somehow managed to get off at the wrong stop and had to walk a bit of the way there.I guess ‘Lark fest’ was similar to a local fair, there was a stage for bands, some entertainment and LOADS of stalls that sold and advertised all sorts of things. As cool as it was, it was very cramped as it was a very small road. I kept bumping into people and we sometimes lost each other just walking through the crowd, It had a very American community vibe about it which I did enjoy being a part of.
We then went around the corner where I got some food and a long anticipated iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts (I’d seen people all over campus with them and really wanted to try one). After that, we walked over to Washington Park, a place I really enjoyed as I actually had a chance to take some pictures on my camera (Singleton Park will always be one of my favourites, but I just really like parks in general). We spent quite a while just relaxing and walking around, then after we’d had our park fix, it was time to go home until the football game at 7:00 pm.
Here’s quite a long assortment of the pictures I took
This would usually be a time where I relaxed for a bit. I didn’t relax. I was stressed out, as my phone charger (the old IPhone 4 one) had suddenly decided to not work anymore and I was now left with a slowly dying phone! There’s nothing I could do at the time so I just left it and went with Hugo, Alex and Oda to the game with my IPod (Alex has a car and this it’s the most convenient thing ever!). There was another pregame part but not really a party going on. They even had an actual Great Dane there this time (although I could be wrong and it was just actually a really big dog!) which even ran on the field with the team at the start of the game.
A this ‘party’ I got another chance to play Can Jam (the Frisbee bin game), in the first round it was me and Oda VS. Hugo and Alex. We were trailing for most of the match. That is until I managed to throw the Frisbee into the small slot at the front of the bin, automatically winning the game!!! (it’s like catching the golden snitch!)
Round 2 was me and Hugo VS. Oda and Alex, it was a close match the whole way through but they just managed to beat us by about 2-3 points. There was also a game where you could try and kick the ball between the posts, Hugo and Oda both managed to do it on their first try. I didn’t want to embarrass myself so I though better of it.
We then made our way to the seating area, in which the other team somehow had around a quarter of the seats just for themselves, even though there was no where near enough of them to fill it all. So they’d basically reserved a load of seating so there’d be less room for the students which was very rude! We only stayed for the first half, as it was starting to get very cold and the game was somewhat dull, with the score being 6-0 to the opposing team (it’s okay we ended up winning in the end!).
However what was entertaining about the match, was one guy on the opposing teams side of the crowd. He was acting like a ridiculous child and was completely mad, he’d keep shouting incredibly loud every few minutes. The funniest part without a doubt was when he’d slam his feet on the stands in an over exaggerated manner, its like he was doing the ‘Can Can’ sitting down. It was so funny I had to take a video of it!
All in all, apart from my phone charger breaking, today had been another one of my favorite days at Albany!
I hope you enjoyed this football filled blog installment, I don’t usually watch that much sport but I certainly had a fun time watching these two games. I also think this is the first time I’ve had pictures a video and a GIF all in one entry, so I hope you enjoyed that :D. Until next time.