How old were you when you first fell in love with football? Do you remember? What was the first game you can recall? Who was playing? Who were you with?
The sport of football will grab a hold of your soul and not let go. It is a love affair like no other. Football will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride. It will break your heart when you least expect it. Recently, I posed the question “How old were you when you fell in love with football?” to the writers here at Last Word on College Football. Here are some of the memories they shared.
Michael Kovacs, CEO, Last Word on Sports, Inc.
I went to my first game as a season ticket holder to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL) when I was six years old. That was 1984. My first game was eventful to say the least. I remember the crowd, the hard hitting, and the man who spilled beer on me when I went into the washroom at halftime. I also remember my mom getting upset at my dad, because apparently the gentleman in front of me wasn’t smoking tobacco cigarettes, opting for the greener kind. Regardless of my brush with contraband, I was hooked and have had season seats for 33 consecutive seasons.
Tony Siracusa, Managing Editor, LWOCFB
- UCLA and National Coverage
I was at the 1966 Rose Bowl when UCLA upset #1 Michigan State, but I was only 2 1/2 months old, so clearly I do not remember it. First game I remember was the first regular season game…1972. UCLA played #1 Nebraska. UCLA used to share LA Coliseum with USC, so we usually got crappy time slots, but we had an afternoon game. First year my grandfather bought season seats for the two of us. Mark Harmon was the UCLA quarterback. It was stunning being in a packed stadium. An awesome experience.
Donald King, CMO, Last Word on Sports, Inc.
Allison Wdowiak, Writer
Billy Goley, Writer
I’ve been an Oklahoma Sooner fan since before I could hold a football. The first game I remember watching was the Red River Shootout (OU vs. Texas) when I was around eight or so. I come from a family of Sooner fans, so bleeding Crimson and Cream just came naturally. BOOMER!
A side note and proof that God has a sense of humor: I married a Texas girl whose entire family consists of hardcore Longhorn fans, so OU vs. Texas is always an experience at our house each year.
Brendan Dzwierzynski, Writer
I’ve loved football in general essentially since I was born, both the college game and the NFL. The first college football game that I remember watching was the infamous 2003 Fiesta Bowl, the national title game between Ohio State and Miami. I watched with my dad, and I was pulling for Miami because, as a graduate of another Big Ten school, he was against OSU. The first individual team I fell in love with though was the 2007 Illinois Fighting Illini. I’ll never forget watching that team, with Juice Williams, Rashard Mendenhall, Arrelious Benn, and company earn a Rose Bowl berth that season.
Hebreu Maxis, Writer
Hector Rodriquez, Writer
Jason Rhea, Writer
I was about five years old when I first knew what football was about and have loved it ever since. Although, my first experience wasn’t great, my family always told me since that day if a football game was being played, I would be in front of the TV watching.
John Bava III, Author
I’ve been a football fan for as long as I can remember. The most memorable college game I watched as a kid was the famous Notre Dame-Miami clash back in the late 80s which the Irish won en route to their last national title. My first Super Bowl memory was watching Doug Williams lead the Washington Redskins to a 35 point second quarter en route to a 42-10 win over the Denver Broncos. From then until now, watching and discussing football with family and friends is a huge part of my life.
Jonathan Bailey, Writer
- Florida State
Josh Nelson, Writer
Justin Gordon, Writer
- Miami and Maryland
I got into college football late, when I was about 12. I didn’t even know much about the sport and would rather play basketball and play in dirt than sit in the house and watch a game I didn’t understand. However, I’d always been a Hurricane fan because I remembered when I was a kid, my uncle had a Miami Starter jacket with Sebastian on the back and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. But the first game I remember the most is the game Hurricanes fans would rather forget. Hated Ohio State since. Never letting up. But Chris Gamble redeemed himself playing for the Panthers so he’s good.
Kevin McGuffey, Writer
My earliest football memory would have been watching Kentucky win the 1976 Peach Bowl over North Carolina 21-0. The first game I ever went to was Kentucky and Vanderbilt when I was 8. The Wildcats won. I went with my parents. My dad and I had season tickets for several years until I went to college. Favorite team is of course Kentucky but NFL wise it is Bengals and Packers.
Laura Leigh Majornik, Writer
Miles Jamieson, Writer
- Washington State
Reginald Lamar Austin II, Writer
When I was around maybe six or seven, my dad took me to my first college football game, my first football game experience. The game was Mizzou versus Kansas State if I’m not mistaken. Ever since that day I have been in love with watching college football. The best part of the game was when my cousin, Brandon Massey blocked a punt in the game and scored a touchdown. It was exhilarating.
Lauren Beasley, Senior Editor
- South Carolina and Charleston Southern
Even though I grew up in the South, where football is practically a religion, no one in my family was ever faithful to the pigskin. There were no season ticket holders in my family, I was never destined to go to the same school my dad and his dad had graduated from. In fact, I am the biggest football fan in my family.
The first time I can remember attending a football game was when I was a cheerleader for the youth recreational league; I must have been seven or eight. I loved the excitement of the gameday atmosphere and cheering for the players, even though I didn’t understand the game at the time.
I do, however, remember exactly when I fell in love with football. I was in middle school, eighth grade, and I was in the school band. It was a night game, I was in my little band uniform, and my eyes were glued to the field instead of the sheet music in front of me. I recall the look the band director kept giving me as I continuously let my clarinet fall from my mouth as I whispered the words “go..go..go”, while watching one of the home team running backs sprint down the field. A few weeks later, I skipped out on attending the game as a band geek and sat on the visitors side so I wouldn’t be caught to watch a game in its entirety. Life as I knew it without football was over from that point.
Kate Pearson-Halyburton, Writer
For The Love Of The Game