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Florida Guide > Other Activities

Want to go somewhere different? - try Amercian Football!

When it was suggested that we go and see an American football match - our first thoughts were 'where, who and how' and then 'will we understand the game?' The 'where' was the Citrus Bowl close to the junction of the Orange Blossom Trail and Highway 408 in Orlandi, the 'who' was the UCF team. Golden Knights and the 'how' was easily solved by looking at the Golden Knights website and following the link for tickets.

So the big day dawned and off we went. Parking was easy, there are large parking lots very close to the stadium and only $10 to park. For those of you unfamiliar with the popularity of College football, the current stadium holds in excess of 60,000 people and the team are soon moving to an even bigger stadium. Hundreds of fans were already parked up, some having stayed overnight in RVs, enjoying the pre-match ‘tailgate’ parties.

Having collected our tickets from the 'will call' window at the stadium, in we went. There were booths selling different types of food and drink plus programmes and souvenirs. For those more used to British football stadiums - this stadium is huge, has wide aisles, even lifts(elevators) and plenty of toilet facilities (rest rooms). Impressions so far - excellent!

In to our seats and half an hour before the game started, the teams were out on the field warming up - as were the supporters. A 100 piece band marched on to the field and soon had the home fans singing along. Then came the arrival of the team mascot - a golden knight (naturally) and riding a white horse! This was something else! The opponents, East Carolina had a pirate mascot, immaculate in a purple costume. The place was buzzing, the noise tremendous, WOW! This is why American football is so popular! On came the cheerleaders -just like we imagined - dancing, twirling, being thrown in the air and, of course, cheering on the team.

The game started and, with the help of numerous people around us, the ' we might not understand the game' question was answered and suddenly we were involved in all of it - cheering, singing, chanting. Fantastic! The Golden Knights team song stayed in our heads for days afterwards.

Although the teams only actually play for 60 minutes we were entertained for more than three hours! Apart from the band and cheerleaders/gymnasts, there were competitions, the Homecoming Queen and King were crowned, and college scholarships were won by students in the crowd.

All too soon it was all over - the home team had lost but no one seemed to mind. Home and away fans had been sat together and all had been friendly. Mums, Dads and the kids had all enjoyed great entertainment

Leaving the stadium, getting back to our car and away from the car park was easy and well organised, within twenty minutes we were back in the car and on the move.

Would we go again? - you bet! Try it - you will not be disappointed. Go Golden Knights!!

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Page added on: 2 December 2006
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