Earlier this month, the University of California at Berkeley hosted a mini football camp for their international students.
Even though the camp was only an hour long, it certainly did seem to inspire some Golden Bears fandom for the international students. Hell, I’m even considering purchasing a tackling station, so I can be apart of what Jonathan McDonald describes as the “stereotypical, football, let’s be meatheads” type of fun.
UC Berkeley has the right idea with this camp, as it probably boosted the number of fans in the stadium for their first two, home game victories. The Bears had two overwhelming successes at California Memorial Stadium: a 73-14 conquest against the Grambling State Tigers and a 35-7 takeover against the San Diego State Aztecs.
One of the international students quoted, “I definitely have a new appreciation of what [American] football is about and how challenging it really is.” It’s great to see a melting pot of nationalities supporting American football. Hopefully the camp helped to squash some of the stereotypes that are formulated in other countries – whether it is about our extensive padding or the coach’s choice to sport their team’s logo instead of a suit.
I think it’d be great for other colleges to adopt this type of camp to aid in squashing any negative American Football stereotypes. I might even try to sneak into one myself sporting a fake British accent; I could finally get my hands around one of those tackling stations and channel my inner meathead.