Last Saturday, I took my sons and two nephews to Western Kentucky University’s (WKU) Red & White Spring football game. It’s a scrimmage they hold each year (as most major universities do) where the team is split up into two squads: red and white. This was our fourth year in a row going. It’s become a family tradition. After the football game, fans can go onto the field and get player autographs. The kids love it.
The weather this past Saturday was amazing. The one hour and forty-five minute drive down to Bowling Green, KY went really well. The kids got along and there was no major fighting on either part of the road trip. The sun being out most of the day really helped.
During our visit, we hit the WKU bookstore (where I load up on all my WKU gear), watched the game, ate pretzels/nachos, got player autographs, watched part of a baseball game and then ate pizza at the student food court. It was a really good day.
I did have two regrets on the day though. First, I had the opportunity to buy a game-worn football jersey for cheap but didn’t. I guess the school decided to clean out the football storage closet because they were getting rid of helmets, jerseys, gloves, t-shirts, and cleats. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any helmets left when we got there. I didn’t get a football jersey because I didn’t like the uniform numbers that they had left. This was the first time I ever remember the school selling used game gear. Second, I had an option to get a “selfie” with Big Red (WKU’s mascot) but didn’t take the opportunity. There’s always next year.
Here’s a recap of our day:
We sat in several places within the stadium. Fortunately, the event was free and we weren’t locked into specific seats. For most of the second half, we sat on the grassy hill behind one of the end zones. It’s a nice place to sit and allows for quick access to the field for the after-game activities.
The Red team whipped the White team. It’s hard to tell from a scrimmage how good the team is going to be. I guess we’ll find out in the regular season.
They set up tables all around the field and players sit with their position groups (quarterbacks, running backs, etc.). The head coach typically sits in the middle of the field. They provide autograph sheets for everyone but you can also have other items signed. This was Ethan’s third year of buying an “autograph” football for the players to sign.
One thing that I didn’t expect this year is that the kids asked the players for their gloves. Amazingly, the players handed their gloves over. Ethan got four pairs of gloves, Camden got two and Eli/Romie each got one pair. At one point, I was concerned that one or more of the kids would come away without gloves but they all got at least one pair. Ethan even asked for a player’s football helmet. He got shot down (because the player said he had to turn it back in) but at least he tried.
Eli proudly shows off the gloves he got from a player.
Camden had Big Red sign his mini football. I love how accessible Big Red is during events like this.
Big Red is always willing to pose for a picture with fans. That’s why I’m so mad at myself for not getting a picture with him (or her).
Even though the boys were ready to move on after the autograph session, I asked them to pose with their autographs and gloves.
After the football game, we walked over the baseball stadium and watched some of the WKU baseball game. It was too nice of a day to not enjoy a few innings.
I had to take at least one group “selfie” to prove that I was there.
WKU has a really nice baseball field right in the middle of campus. You can see dorms and other buildings in the background.
Right in the middle of the Downing University Center (DUC), they have this awesome statue of Big Red and the Big Red towel. DUC is a student center right in the middle of campus with the bookstore, places to eat, a game lounge and other student activities.
In the DUC food court, we could choose between Papa John’s, Steak ‘N Shake and Chick-Fil-A. We all got individual slices of pizza. Man, it’s changed since I was a student there.
I’m glad that we got to go and spend time on campus again this year.
As a parent, I needed to have a good day with the kids.
I’m already looking forward to next year.