My latest housemates are 2 Malaysian grrls studying in Waseda University. They've been living here since February, and hanging out with them and their friends made me feel quite like a student again. In fact, with my extended-leave-status, I'm living the student life, whatwith all the gatherings, cooking sessions, events and seemingly arcadian existence that I sometimes feel quite guilty about!
Anyways, they have christened me as a Waseda honorary affiliate and extended an invitation to an American Football friendly between their university and Keio University. This was going to be rather exciting since I have never been to a football match ever in my life, whatmore any sports event in Japan.
Nevermind that I was never into football to begin with, but sitting under the glare of the mid-day sun cheering for a university that was not even my alma mater added to the mystery of me ending up at Komazawa Olympic Park for the 57th Annual Classic Match.
The weather all week has been bright and sunny, making it perfect for outings. Knowing how deceptive spring weather can be, we somehow forgot to slap on extra sunblock and had to shield ourselves with our coats and jackets from the afternoon heat.
The Keio Unicorns were no match against the Waseda Big Bears. Even into the 2nd quarter, the Bears were leading by a comfortable margin of 17-3. The cheerleaders from the opposing team who came out in full force to support the Unicorns did little to boost the score.
In the remaining 2 quarters, Waseda continued on their winning streak and gained 30 more points to be the winner in this match. Big Bears thrashed the Unicorns 47-3.
After the game, all the players from both teams lined up at each side of the stadium facing each other. 4 representatives from each team walked up to the opposing side to bow to their opponents in a sign of mutual respect and sportsmanship. Then each team turned to face their spectators and bowed to them.
School anthems from both sides were played as part of the prize-giving ceremony. When Waseda's school song was being played, spectators from our side of the stadium stood up and followed the hand movements as indicated by the conductor standing just below us. How patriotic. I don't think MMU and IUJ ever had school songs!
When all the rituals of a well-played game had ended, the guys from the Big Bears converged and gave out a rousing cheer for the spectators who had come out to support them. Then they grabbed their coach and threw him into the air as they patted each others' back for an almost-effortless win.
I guess football can be rather interesting.