This is why you're broke 

This is why you’re broke, college football edition

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College football fandom ain't cheap, but to this writer, it's worth it.My name is Alana, and I’m a college football fan. Most months of the year I consider myself a rational, level-headed young lady. But come the end of August, for 12 weeks (more if I’m lucky), I become obsessed with college football. More specifically the Florida Gators. 

Now don’t get confused; this is not a post about a gambling addiction. My vice is far simpler than that: I find it nearly impossible to watch a game by myself in the comfort of my own home. 

My parents raised me well, instilling good financial sense from a young age. I’ve had a savings account since the 3rd grade and was taught the value of saving versus spending. On a daily basis that works for me, but when the calendar flips to fall I follow my ears to the sound of cheers and the clinking of beers. Each football Saturday my friends and I hit up a local bar to enjoy delicious game day food, fan camaraderie and 2-4-1 drink specials. 

A typical game-day Saturday goes down a little something like this: First we choose which bar to grace with our presence. Depending on the importance of the game (playing Georgia versus playing Georgia Southern) we plan our arrival for half an hour before kickoff. Before heading out the door I have to put on all my swag. This means getting decked out in an Orange and Blue shirt, shoes, purse, koozie and at least seven different Gator accessories. I usually buy two or three new shirts per year, with my favorite brand being Victoria’s Secret Pink Collegiate collection. These beauties set me back on average $20-$30 per shirt for a total of around $90 per football season. Once the (viewing) team is assembled, the day typically progresses with the following pattern:

  • Two buckets of beer.
  • “Let’s order some apps!”
  • Bucket of beer.
  • “Anybody still hungry? Good — let’s pick out three more items.”
  • We’re going to need some more buckets over here.

You get the picture. This continues for the next 4 hours or so until the game is over. Factor in my friends, who are fans of other teams and staying to watch their games, and we have easily had days/nights where we spend 6 to 7 hours at the bar (and don’t worry — we all live right across the street so there is no driving involved — safety first!). Our favorite spot has excellent specials and our final tab is split by at least six of us which helps limit the damage endless hours of eating and drinking can have on one’s wallet (we won’t discuss the damage to my stomach or liver). I spend on average $25 to $30 each Saturday. When factoring in the cost at the bar, my attire and other random Gator gear I pick up along the way, I would estimate that my love for college football costs me around $500 each year. I could certainly have more expensive habits, and I’m lucky that I don’t. My habit allows me to catch up with old friends and make new ones, and that is easily worth the price I pay. Happy fall and GO GATORS!

{ 4 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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4 Responses to “This is why you’re broke, college football edition”

  1. adam carolla fan says:

    my vice is UFC fights. i stay away from the bars that charge you a cover (that’s hella bootsy), so i go to places that offer the fights for free (hooters, republic, etc.).

    once there, though, oh, yeah…gotta have some tasty food and a cold one. and maybe seconds, too. so smug!

    i like how you said your habit is also about catching up with old friends and making new ones…cause that’s really what is priceless.

  2. Lucas says:

    $30 for 6-7 hours of fun is a good deal no matter how you cut it. If you break it down by the hour, that’s $5 per hour of good times spent with friends while eating and drinking, that’s a value. There’s something to be said for moderation, though. If it were me, I’d find a friend with a bigscreen and take the event private. Beer and food are, of course, cheaper when you drink at home. Save the trips to the bar for the most important games.

  3. Dale J. Rodriguez says:

    #GoGators! I understand I spend a lot more in games, I am trying to slow it down!

  4. Dan.Miranda says:

    Funny, I spend about 5-hundo a year avoiding the X-Games.

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