I love football. (I love most sports, frankly.) As I mentioned, I grew up getting to go to sporting events now and again – from baseball to football to hockey and basketball – and seeing sports live is something I rather enjoy. We’ve taken the Monster to baseball games, largely minor-league, previously… and it’s definitely easier when you are in a smaller facility where you can walk about and still see the field (and definitely more so when you’re going to these events as part of a group of children in similar situations). A football stadium is not one of these kinds of things.
(I’ll do a more ‘review-y’ post about the stadium itself separately, probably later this week, just fyi.)
First things first – when you’re the parent of a special needs child, you really should make sure that you double-and-triple-check what you’re taking with you to the game. Case in point – we were so concerned about the weather forecast that I entirely forgot to make sure that I grabbed the Monster’s headphones before we left the house… and only remembered when we were already on our way to the stadium. But since we were already on the light rail, and he seemed to not be issues, I decided to grit my teeth and just hope that there weren’t going to be any problems… in a loud stadium… full of fans hoping their team would make the playoffs… in a potential rainstorm…
Yeah. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it.
One thing in our favor was that I decided we should head out for the stadium earlier, since that’d be easier on me if we took our time getting up to our seats. It worked out nicely, since it meant less of a press of people getting into the stadium, and while he did have some sensory issues on the main concourse, he was done with covering his ears by the time we reached the upper deck. After buying some food and getting ourselves settled, everything was… actually pretty fine. He settled into his seat and paid attention to the marching band during the pre-game entertainment, loved the fireworks that went off during introductions and the anthem, and then followed along as the game progressed. (A lot of prep work went into helping him know when and how to cheer, for what its worth.)
Now, I grew up with a simple rule for going to games – we didn’t leave early, almost no matter what. (Interesting things tend to happen when you leave early.) So, sometime in the middle of the second quarter, it started drizzling. By the middle of the third, the heavens had opened up, and it was coming down. Not that the stadium had been full before that point (and I’ll avoid posting my opinion on the politics of the situation), but many more started to leave, especially when the Ravens’ victory looked all but assured… So it was good that we stayed through the near-comeback by the Colts, since that got “exciting” in ways that I think none of us needed.
And at no point during the rain did the Monster complain or fidget. Actually, the lack of headphones was probably a blessing, since I don’t know that his poncho would’ve fit over his headphones. He sat there and continued to watch the game through his rain-spattered glasses, and cheer along with the crowd for the team.
By the time we got home, though, he was really ready for bed since it was late for him. But I think he had a very good time, and definitely it’s something I’d do again if the opportunity reared its head.