A Different Kind of Game

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By Ray Glier

I kept waiting for the obnoxious drunk (Clemson). I kept waiting for the f-bombs (Florida). I kept waiting for the racial slur (Georgia), or the comment about the football player’s lack of intellect (all of them).

I stood there for 90 minutes and no one bitched, or yelled obscenities. I have been to college football games where the crowd is, well, so bad I wanted my money back. The beer and alcohol had all the influence over the culture.

I went to Atlanta United as a fan for the first time on Sunday. It was loud and boisterous and really, really fun. I won’t take my kids back to a college football game. I will take them to a United game. It was 70,000 people on their feet for a 3-0 game.

I can see why this game has caught on in Atlanta.

The really good news is I bought a ticket in the end zone so I could have a scout’s view and see plays unfold. I was not in the Mercedes Benz press box, which is one of the three worst I have ever been in (New Orleans Superdome and St. Louis Cardinals). The MB press box is enclosed with a thick glass window and it is a tomb. You cannot truthfully write about atmosphere. The game’s feeling is not allowed to get into the press box. It’s horrible.

So I bought a ticket and mixed with the fans, which I will try and never do again in college football, or the NBA, or the NFL. I will do it again for Atlanta United.

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