Texas Tech vs Nebraska - Homecoming
Trip Start Sep 17, 2006
244Trip End Dec 23, 2008
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Today’s Texas Tech game is branded as the homecoming game, which increases its importance and thus the demand for tickets. Luckily Whitney’s friend Stephen’s mum Diane has two season tickets, she didn’t have anyone to go to the game with and so I was offered her spare ticket. This saved me $66 and the hassle of trying to purchase a ticket. Whitney and Ashton got in free to the student stand.
College football is a big deal here. In terms of spectators it’s on par with football in Europe, played in large stadiums with crowds of 50,000 – 100,000 people. A good portion of fans will be students not paying, more than half though will be fans from the city or town plus parents of students.
Outside the Jones AT&T stadium it was like walking to any other large sporting event. I was wearing my new red Texas Tech t-shirt, so I fitted in with the hundreds of others making their way to the game. Nebraska were the opposition today, they weren’t rated as a top team, but Texas Tech apparently have a reputation for slipping up just when they’re looking good.
Pre-game entertainment was provided by a black horse being ridden from one end of the field to the other. I think it had something to do with their mascot. University marching bands are a big thing in the USA. They accompany the teams to games and provide a musical background to proceedings.
American football is actually quite a simple sport. Teams take it in turns to have possession of the ball
In today’s game Texas Tech got ahead before Nebraska fought back. It was very close throughout the four quarters and tied at the end of the fourth. This lead to ‘overtime’ where each team got a chance to attack from about the twenty yard line. Texas Tech succeeded in getting a touchdown to lead 37-31, but then the kicker failed to get the extra point. This meant Nebraska had the chance to score a touchdown and convert to win the game. You could feel the nerves inside the stadium, Diane, the friend of Whitney’s who had taken me to the game held her head in her hands. Nebraska then made a terrible error to gift Texas Tech the possession, and indeed the game
I could tell the local fans were relieved but also shocked at how their team had come so close to defeat against supposedly much weaker opposition. This may be college football but I got the feeling that this is Lubbock’s big sports team, and thus everybody follows them even if they have never set foot on the Texas Tech campus.
The college football season is quite complicated, in fact I would need to study it for about four days then write a whole blog entry to try to explain it! Basically Texas Tech are part of the ‘Big 12’ conference, which is teams from the central part of America. So Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas etc. The key performance indicator is a team’s ranking. This is generated by both a computer formula and also human ratings. Rankings are updated weekly and Texas Tech are rated about 8th in the country, which is very impressive.