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Five Pointers for Big Red Abroad

For all you out-of-staters, displaced fans, and roaming Red, there is the lovely Ivy League Digital Network for your Cornell sports fix. Nothing in life is free, but the Network’s monthly tithe earns you Big Red sports streaming straight to your computer or mobile device (in low quality and only for games played at an Ivy League institution). Regardless, these are mere flesh wounds, bumps, and bruises on the road to accessing some of that distant Cornell culture. For those of you studying abroad or away from the Big Red, I have some advice for my fellow classmates:

  1. Brew or buy a strong cup of coffee. With the time differences, games will probably start around midnight or 1 AM, so make sure you have prepared yourself for a late night. If all else fails, administer an injection of adrenaline straight to the heart.

  2. Alert all flatmates, or nearby eavesdroppers, who might think you are under attack or experiencing some kind of emotional breakdown. Shouts, sighs, and exclamations may cause those passing by to grow concerned about your general well-being. Sit them down and explain that American collegiate sports bring out a different side of you and that there is no cause for alarm.

  3. If the game is away from the Cornell campus, take some calming breaths before it starts. You will need all of your perseverance to deal with the announcers. Without fail, they most likely will mispronounce all of their names.

  4. I would provide yourself with some comfort food or something to get you through the dark times. I don’t mean the stress, but when you remember that you are alone, it is hard to keep the Big Red spirit alive when you are a party of one. Even if you find a friend to experience the game with, they won’t understand the nuanced heckling of a seasoned Cornell sports fan veteran. I recently watched the Dartmouth hockey game with one of my flatmates, and while she was caught up by the fast-paced game, she kept asking me why I was so mean. Even after I explained it was our job to emotionally break the “sieve,” I had no answer for why I was still heckling when the goalie obviously couldn’t hear me.

  5. Accept that win or lose, afterwards you have to go to bed. I’m used to riding a post-victory glow to dinner, where constant recaps and game anecdotes are exchanged. Even in defeat, we regurgitate the ups and downs of the play and try to focus on the positive. Now, when the game ends at two o’clock in the morning, it is lights out afterwards. In addition, most U.S. college sports aren’t exactly important facets of European living. No one around me really cares about a university thousands of miles away winning or losing a game they don’t understand. As a remedy, I suggest a set detox period that you plan ahead with your fellow classmates at home, like a certain time on Facebook where you can pick apart the play. This way, you know you will get to vent and don’t have to languish in self-pity, even for a moment.

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