In the Long run: Friday night lights shine brightest

Michael Long, Sports Editor

You have all seen the posts on social media of people saying how much they love Friday night football games, but what is it exactly that they love so much? This being my third year in high school, I think I may have figured it out.

Friday night football games have an insanely care-free and exciting vibe, especially deep within the student section. Inside there, it’s a barrage of cheering, laughing and joking, you know, stuff people between the ages of 14 and 19 typically do.

A night in the student section during a football game is a night where you can truly cut loose and act like a kid. For example, I’ve found myself attempting to crowd surf and eating popcorn out of someone’s straw hat on Hawaiian night. Immature? Maybe a little, but that’s what us youngins do.

A lot of the credit for football games being as fun as they are can go to our Booster Club. Like for real, huge shoutout to our past and present booster club members for leading students in all the cheers and coordinating all of the themes that make the games so great. Honestly, it’s hard to say you’ve had a complete high school experience if you’ve never ridden the roller coaster at halftime, wore something completely ridiculous to a game or got into a “we got spirit how about you” battle.

I’m a firm believer that Friday night lights can change people’s moods. People seem genuinely happier and more friendly at these games. I have found myself talking to students who I’ve literally never talked to in my life and laughing with them.

I say that that’s due to the strong sense of SHS school spirit. It unites and connects us all as Cardinals because we’re all there for the same reason. People don’t typically go to a game to spread negativity, as we’re all there to cheer for the team and have a good time.

Of course, other sports provide a similar feeling. I’m not just trying to enlarge the spotlight that’s already on the football team. To be honest, I’m not even a huge fan of football, but there’s something about the atmosphere of a football game that is simply unmatched. A lot of it has to do with the fact that high school football games are always on
a Friday.

Soccer games are hyped, and I just went to my first girls volleyball game not too long ago and it was wildly entertaining, but in the end, you have to go home and stress about school. This is because a lot of the time, these games are on weekdays.

However, when you attend a football game, you don’t have to worry about the rhetorical analysis essay due on Monday or the giant review packet for pre-calculus that has to be done over the weekend. You just have to worry about where to eat afterwards. TGIF, right?

Another great thing about these games is that all the money you spend for admission, buying popcorn and whatnot isn’t just going down the toilet. A lot of it is finding it’s way back to the team that you’re supporting. There are also fundraisers like the “Riley Miracle Minute” and “Pie For Ri” which help raise money for Riley Hospital for Hospital.

Good friends, good times, good vibes, good causes, good experiences; Friday night football games seem to be the perfect embodiment of high school entertainment. Whether you believe it or not, there is an effect from these Friday night lights and the only way to know what it is, is to go to a game yourself.