Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Language of Football

When you are around thousands of ECU football fans, you can expect a diversity of accents and language.

One hears the local “bad accents”, which I’m trying hard not to maintain, and the even longer Southern drawls from everywhere else.
The accents are accompanied with colloquialisms and phrases from the past and present. So it’s easy to figure out what decade they went to college, or not.

The fans talk to each other, acquaintance or stranger but if you all have season tickets, it’s a good thing to be congenial.  
Side-by-side neighbors voice opinions and comment on the other obnoxious fans.  
“So how many drunken college students will be removed from our area today?”   
Only one, but two more look promising.

Of course, when the fans aren’t happy, the language spewed isn’t necessarily indicative of any formal education.

Then there is the language of football.  
If you remotely pay attention to the game, terms like penalty, holding and roughing the kicker, becomes part of your vocabulary.

When the Pirates score a touchdown, a cannon is fired releasing purple smoke.  
We like lots purple smoke.

Fans are encouraged to participate and time outs create the perfect opportunity to join with others in acting like a college student. 
Cheerleader language from the sideline is remembered by the rhythmic chants and amplified by the marching band in the stands.  

Even the announcer creates the opportunity to get into the action, saying “First down, AAARRRR, Pirates”, in a pseudo pirate voice, followed by fans imitating a saber slash, directing their arm toward the goal line.

Then there is the language yelled because of football, by two guys standing over us, in a disagreement between two field officials…
Fan #1 “Come on Ref.  He saw it.”
Fan #2 “He had a better look at it than you.”
Fan #1 “Yea, he knew what he saw; he used Trigonometry.”

Ah, the language of football.

I hope you find the opportunity to go to a college football game.  ECU's games are great, win or lose.  I'd love to hear from you, so email me at

May all your days be purple smoke days.

1 comment:

  1. I love, love going to college football games--from the smallest schools to the biggest universities. The big guys and the tailgating are super fun. I think there's a whole tailgating language too and it has a lot to do with drinking and food!