By: Sindhuja Kodivalasa, Guest Writer
Glendale, Arizona, home of the Arizona Cardinals, hosted the Super Bowl, the highest level of professional football in the United States this year. This is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL).
As students could not make it to the game in person, few students decided to get together and celebrate the United States’ biggest annual gaming event on campus. On the evening of February 1, Sunday, a projector with live streaming was set up in the Sobo Lounge in the West Dorms and the match was enjoyed amongst fellow T-Birds. Nearly 75 students were present to cheer for their favorite teams and enjoy the evening.
There was a celebratory atmosphere all over, with food and beverages being served and even a small barbeque set up to serve hot dogs. Seattle Seahawks were clearly the crowd favorites, but nevertheless the New England Patriots had their share of supporters. The students were supporting and cheering every time their respective teams scored. Touchdowns were the moments when the cheers soared to the skies. It was overall a fun and energetic evening.
As international students, this was a unique experience for most of us. American football is not a prevalent sport in most of the world. The euphoria surrounding the match was amazing. The passion with which the students supported the teams was incredible. Most of the students who were watching the match for the first time sat beside people who knew the game, who happily explained the first timers the rules of the match. Soon most of the international students were seen supporting either of the teams and enjoying the match. The game itself was great and enjoyable. The last few minutes of the game, the lounge was filled with a lot of anxiety as it was a close win.
Thunderbird is known for its diverse student population from all around the world. An evening such as this, a Super Bowl match watched amongst fellow students provided an opportunity to many international students to experience the unique American student lifestyle which is very different from the culture of their home countries. As a representative of Das Tor, I got an opportunity to talk to many T-Birds regarding their first time experience of the match. First-year MBA student, Neetika Varma stated:
“This year I saw my first hockey match, basketball match, baseball match and now a football match. Thunderbird is definitely a place for firsts. I am getting a lot of chances to explore new areas and this evening with friends is definitely one to cherish.”
Many students said they were not really concerned about the outcome of the match. As they were not ardent supporters of either of the teams, they just wanted the light environment to continue and they did not wish their friends to get upset. Some of the friends and family of the Thunderbird students were also present. They were happy to watch the match in such an energetic and friendly environment. They praised the close nit environment among the Thunderbird students and described it as one-big-T-Bird-family.
The half time performance of Katy Perry was entertaining and was enjoyed. Many were surprised by the extravaganza of the show as they did not expect such a spectacle. They said it was magnificent and looked like an Olympic opening ceremony. They thoroughly enjoyed it.
Overall the evening was an engaging and fun filled social gathering. With very few students on campus such gatherings must take place more often to ensure that the campus stays lively and cheerful.