An inflatable piece of nostalgia remains a homecoming favorite
Posted on Oct 09, 2012 in Features
An inflatable piece of nostalgia was perched on top of the grass in the middle of the Campus Green early Thursday afternoon. The glossy primary colors stuck out vividly as it called upon the child-like innocence we try to suppress now that we’re in college. “Come play with me!” it called. “I’m so fun! I’m not a trap sent here by a witch, I swear!” As you approached the thing that looked like a Lego-balloon hybrid, you realized it was actually an obstacle course. This, along with candied apples, is what comprised the Fall Festival; one event leading-up to Homecoming.
I was challenged to a race on the inflatable obstacle course minutes before it was to be taken down by grad student Dana Lackey, who said the whole experience was “Energetic and quite competitive. It helped me work off some calories from stuffing my face at the decoration judging cookout.” Of course the Fall Festival was not the only event held to entertain the bored and raise school-spirit for the game, depending on your football disposition. Multiple events were held all throughout the previous week.
Monday was eat-your-weight-in-cookout-food day, followed by pancakes and karaoke. The pancakes? They were totally free, and you got to eat them late at night and then sing about it! The next night at the Alys Stephens Center, Cedric Yarbrough and Carlos Alazraqui of “Reno 911!” performed, and though some of us had to miss that, unfortunately, it was most certainly an incredibly funny time.
Wednesday witnessed the famous Gurney Derby followed by the Green and Gold Games. Organizations, fraternities, sororities and people otherwise not associated with clubs competed in gaming fun times, such as: water balloon tossing, human pyramid building, three-legged racing, crab walking, and any other activity where you could have dropped a G. Not to mention run-with-the-egg-but-don’t-drop-it!
It seems you can’t walk anywhere on campus right now without being reminded of the upcoming game. There are banners with Blaze the dragon painted on them, threatening messages to the Southeastern Louisiana Lions are paint-markered onto the windows of the Starbucks. Students are festooned in their UAB t-shirts, hoodies, pajama pants and what-have-you. It’s hard to escape it, so difficult in fact, it causes one to really think.
I realized during my little stroll that if you take away anything to do with football, the Louisiana Lions, you still have dragons and the colors green and gold everywhere. And that part really shouldn’t bother the little cynics in us. UAB, a school that doesn’t hate itself or its students. It is proud of its accomplishments, whether it be about sports or advances in medical science. There is a great art gallery for local and traveling exhibits, or even students, and it shows these beautiful works for free. There are not one but two libraries, one that serves great coffee and stays open later so we can study whenever needed.
I once heard UAB referred to as the University that Ate Birmingham, as it encompasses a good bit of our city. But with all that UAB does, including one of the best hospitals in the region, isn’t that sort of a good thing? At the time of this writing, we can have no idea who won the game. The aforementioned Lackey had this to say though, “Hopefully these events raised Blazer spirit and got a lot of students to support a huge crowd to cheer on UAB to win and also propel them to a winning season, despite a rough start.”
The homecoming events didn’t necessarily have to be about raising school spirit to bring up the number of attendees, though. They could have just as much been about pancakes, comedy, fun games, and bringing students together with these activities. Sliding down a giant balloon in your adulthood? What could be more fun?
So I will say this: Go Blazers. And by that, I don’t just mean the football team. I mean everyone who goes here who is working towards accomplishing something great. Keep on learning!
Senior Staff Writer