Football is here, but summer isn’t overPublished 11:27am Tuesday, September 10, 2013
As I and my fellow reporters have written in this very spot, it’s great to have football season back.
Obviously, in these parts the joy of football is unexplainable; it’s just a way of life.
The last few weeks have already brought some exciting games and developments this year.
The college football season opened up with an outstanding showdown between the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the Clemson University Tigers.
At the end of last month, I covered my very first high school football game involving a Tallapoosa County team when I hit the road to watch the Horseshoe Bend Generals open the 2013 season with a victory over the Wadley Bulldogs.
One thing that is just as consistent as the excitement in these early-season games is the overwhelming heat, no matter what time of day.
This past weekend, I traveled down to Jacksonville, Fla. to watch the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Sunday’s matchup was not my first ever NFL game, but one spot where the game takes first place is the fact that it was absolutely the hottest game I have ever been to in my life.
To use an admittedly bad pun, Florida’s called the Sunshine State for a reason.
During the game, my mother had to leave the stands because of the heat, and she was not the only one.
Immediately outside the tunnel near our seats was an area designated to cool off overheated fans.
Kudos to Jacksonville for being prepared with this “Cool Zone” in place.
As I rushed to get my mom some water from the concession stand, I noticed the stadium had more than one of the Cool Zones in place for anyone in need, as well EMTs and medical personnel on hand to help cool people off.
Now, I am a die-hard football fan (I am even currently taking up the nerdy practice of playing fantasy football with a couple of buddies), and I know football fans like myself do not want to miss one play of any given game.
But I am advising anyone who goes to a football game during these early months to stay hydrated.
If you feel lightheaded, have an increased heart rate, feel weak or any number of other signs of heat exhaustion, step away from the game and get some water.
I know at games people tend to enjoy alcohol or even sodas, but drinking as much water as possible is crucial when you are going out to support your favorite team, whether it be high school, college, pro or even little league.
So if you’re feeling flustered on game day, don’t be afraid to step away and miss a few plays.
Because believe it or not, watching your team win isn’t as important as your health.
Hudson is a staff writer for The Outlook.