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September 03, 2005

First football game today

In just eight short hours, the Virginia Cavaliers will once again take the field to take on the Western Michigan Broncos in a game that promises to be nothing short of a blowout. I am very excited for the season to start again, but there will be more to this than just another football game.

First, the disaster left behind by Hurricane Katrina has prompted the creation of UVA Students KARE (Katrina Aid and Relief Effort). This group will be standing at the gates of Scott Stadium accepting donations. Even if you can only give a few dollars, please help. Supplies and aid are desperately needed down there; I've already heard of some people intending to go down there to evacuate New Orleans, which may be a very risky move. Help convince these people that enough aid will get down there to help those remaining there.

Also, with the recent acts of racism, there has been a movement to get people to wear black to the football game. This idea has been ineffeciently promoted twice this week, and I don't suspect that this event will do more. If anything, I suspect it will only give the school negative press, as the attacks will be made more public. I have preferred the tradition of dressing up for the games, and many people still hear and follow Coach Al Groh's "Sea of Orange", so I suspect that anyone at the game will be initially confused as they look at the students and see an ecclectic mix of color.

For me, sports has always been a release from the real world; we can only spend so much time concerning ourselves with everything else going on before the stress becomes overwhelming. I can appreciate the collection for the victims in New Orleans, but it would be good to see a sea of orange, as much as I prefer tradition. The collection will be at the beginning (and possibly the end) of the game, and I suspect there will be booths set up for it as well, but during the game, it will not be wearing everyone down. We can also deal with racism when we get out of the stadium; for three hours, I don't think it would be too much to ask for some release. If you are going to the game, yell your lungs out and enjoy the time spent there with family and friends; a break from the world's problems will better prepare us to tackle them again after we leave.