Athleting with Angela: Experiencing UBC Homecoming for the first time

I don’t remember much, but I remember having a good time.

Like the Millennial/Gen Z-er I am, the night of Homecoming starts with avocado toast and watching Adventure Time. Technically it starts with three shots of gin, but I’m sure that’s obvious.

I had forgotten how hard it is to ride the bus drunk. On the bus, I see a guy who looks like Dan Mangan who is definitely not Dan Mangan. On the walk to the stadium, my friend Carla and I stop to eat blackberries by the side of the road.

As soon as we get into the stadium, cheerleaders shout at us. Their gold pom-poms kind of make me nauseous. For entertainment, there’s a girl playing acoustic guitar. She’s good, but it was really setting a weird vibe. How can I get hype to Ed Sheeran?

I immediately buy the wrong kind of drink tickets and then use all of my remaining brain cells to try and order a Nütrl. I stand in line for 20 minutes to win a vuvuzela and I am so happy until I realize I can’t play the vuvuzela.

When we go to sit down, the stadium is full of people. Full of like actual people, not the sad empty stadium I was expecting. We’re near the Dinos fans, who are cheering loudly even though nothing is happening. I feel really old surrounded by all the first-years.

Packed stands for Homecoming.
Packed stands for Homecoming. Angela O'Donnell

I sort of blank out on what happens next, but all of a sudden there’s a helicopter landing on the field. I see on The Ubyssey sports section’s Twitter that it was delivering the ball for the game, but I think in the moment I thought that someone had done a sports crime. It takes off and I feel sad.

AMS President Marium Hamid and President Santa Ono do some sports thing on the field, I want to say a coin flip? At this point, football must have started happening because fireworks go off. Fireworks means sports happen. The announcer says that Crazy P is going to lead a chant. I turn to Carla and say, “Who is Crazy P?” The man beside us points to a different man right in front of us and says, “That’s Crazy P.”

I get bored of sitting and having my eyes be unable to focus on the football directly in front of me, so I walk around the field. I am in awe of how many people are here. A stadium full of people chanting and cheering. Is this what it’s like going to a school with school spirit? Is this what it’s like going to Queen’s? I also remember thinking that no one would stop me from running onto the field and how funny that would be, but I wasn’t that drunk so I didn’t do it.

By far the most exciting part was the half-time dog show. If you asked sober me about watching dogs catch frisbees, I would probably say that sounds lame, but drunk me would tell you differently. I nearly lost my voice cheering. I cheered louder than any part of the football game. Just something about those dogs really got me excited and made me forget I was freezing cold.

The Homecoming highlight was the half-time dog show.
The Homecoming highlight was the half-time dog show. Angela O'Donnell

We left early. Not for any great reason, mostly just because there’s only so long you can sit in the rain before you are reminded that you don’t have to be sitting in the rain. I think the Thunderbirds won, but if you really cared about football stats you should’ve read a different article.