Being a fan

The boys and I went to the Scottish Games this past weekend. In addition to all the regular Scottish game things (caber tossing, border collie demos, bagpipes, clan booths, archery, fencing, and knights whacking at each other), this year’s games also featured Quidditch.

Yep, Quidditch. Apparently, some people turned the Harry Potter game into a real thing (here are more details). Except for the sticks they carry around between their legs (like broomsticks), it’s a really cool sport. They’ve modified the rules enough to make it a true competition, fast and physical. If they ever lose the broomsticks, I could even see it turning into a professional thing that people watch on television.

Anyway, the boys and I settled on some metal bleachers to watch. We’d arrived at the end of a game, which was good, because it gave us time to figure out what the rules were and how it worked.

Two more teams took the field: USF was all in green, and another one was in gray. The green guys looked sharp and coordinated as they warmed up and went through their pre-game. The gray guys (whose school name I don’t remember) were pure chaos. Some prowled around, glaring at the other team. Others jumped and high-fived. There was chest-bumping mixed with guttural shouts of challenge.

“Who are you cheering for?” my oldest asked.

“I’m not sure,” I said. “I don’t know anything about them.”

“Me neither.”

The teams were huddling up on each end of the field. “Let’s decide based on their cheers,” my youngest son suggested.


USF put their arms around each other’s shoulders and shouted the spelling of South Florida. The boys and I looked at each other. “Well,” my oldest said. “At least they know how to spell.”

“Who are we?” a gray team member bellowed.

“Warriors!” the answer came back in a great shout as the gray team gathered together.

“Who are we?” the leader repeated.


“Who are we?”


By this time, the huddle of gray-uniformed bodies was bouncing up and down, and the word came out so intense, it sounded like a desperate scream.

“What do we do?”

“Fight! Fight! Fight! AAAAAAHHHHHH!” The gray team exploded out of their huddle and charged onto the field.

The boys and I looked at each other.

“No contest,” my oldest son said.

“Yeah,” I said. “But now we’ve got to work on our pre-game cheer at soccer.”

“AAAAHHHH!” my youngest said. “We can do that.”

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