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Tera Joyce

Dr. Erin Dietel-McLaughlin
WR 13200
ConIlict Narrative

,20,
Even beIore I open my eyes, my heart is racing. Today is going to be a good day. Today
is game day. I walk toward my over Ilowing suitcase and grab the only thing I`d consider
wearing Ior a game: an oversized, old, slightly worn out Iootball jersey proudly displaying the
number 43 on the Iront. My Iamily oI Iive hustles around our crammed hotel room getting ready
Ior the occasion. AIter we are all dressed Ior the game, we set out into Indianapolis, three oI us
sporting Colts apparel while my brother, Joey, and I are wearing Chargers gear. The Iive oI us
still stand together although we are divided by the teams we will cheer Ior. The anticipation had
built through the entire trip leading to tonight`s game. We plan our day around the game; as we
walk between the buildings oI the city, I see only a scarce number oI other Chargers Ians in the
area. I look at my phone as we sit down Ior dinner to see we still had hours beIore the game--
arriving at the stadium early to see all the Iestivities possible is not optional.
We walk up to the stadium beIore the doors open to the Ians. As we are standing in line
Ior what seems like hours, I Iind myselI entirely surrounded by Colt Ians except Ior Joey. At last
we are able to walk through the huge gates leading into the stadium. Joey and I leave the rest oI
our Iamily to wander around the arena until we Iind the best possible view oI the Charger`s
warm up. I yell to my Iavorite player as Joey attempts to catch the quarterback`s attention. I look
down at the players, not believing my eyes as many oI them reach up to slap my hand. We look
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at the game clock; realizing kickoII is only minutes away, we set oII through the crowds toward
our seats.
We walk down the stairs oI the already jam-packed stadium to our spots. Wearing
identical jerseys, though sporting the diIIerent numbers, we continue walking until we are
practically on the Iield. Standing only Ieet away Irom the superstars we watch each week on
television, we Ieel like children in a candy store. Searching through the blinding lights oI all oI
the camera Ilashes, I count the other Iew lone Ians not wearing the home team`s colors. Joey and
I settle into our seats to realize we are all alone in in sea oI Colt`s blue. We smile daringly at
each other, happily accepting the banter oI the surrounding Ians as the game begins. I sit back in
my seat to soak in this moment; Ior this moment, my brother and I are standing together, united
in the support oI our team. It`s even more signiIicant because a peaceIul moment between the
two oI us is hard to come by. Arguments are nearly a daily activity in our love-hate relationship;
however, never on game day. On game day, we are best Iriends. On game day we are joined at
the hip running around the stadium taking pictures. On game day we`re sitting on the couch
together yelling at the television. On game day, Joey and I are teammates.
Secretly, I have always wanted to be like my brother and, even though I like to tell him
otherwise, I have always strived Ior his approval. He is the reason I have come to love this team,
and it is his hand-me-down jersey that I wear Ior every game. He is the reason I look Iorward to
game day so much, not because oI the actual game, but mainly because the two oI us make a
great team.
Everyone in the stands erupts into chaos as the teams prepare Ior kickoII. With all eyes
on him, the kicker takes his Iirst steps toward the ball and the game begins. As the Chargers`
number 43 catches the ball, Joey and I sit in silence to watch the play pan out. He takes oII like a
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bullet, cutting and dashing, avoiding tackles until he`s nearly to midIield. As we stand up and
cheer wildly, I look to my right to see a crowd Iilled with dirty looks. The Charger`s drove down
the Iield with ease to score their Iirst touchdown. AIter the change oI possession it was clear that
the Colt`s oIIense was no comparison to our deIense. Then the cycle repeated. I look up at the
scoreboard as the points continued growing in our Iavor. Our cheers grew more, and more
excited with each score we accrued. Each time we celebrated our team`s accomplishments, I saw
home Ian`s Iaces turn red with anger. By halItime we have more than double their score and we
aren`t letting up.
I sit in my stadium seat as every Ian in earshot yells vulgarly at us. As the game
completed, hand gestures were added to the rude marks, as well as a call to the security oIIicer.
My stomach sinks when I see a security guard walk over to our seats. He insists that Joey and I
to walk up the stairs with him. As we walk up the stadium steps I hear cheering in the stands --
the most cheering I`ve heard Irom Colt Ians the entire night. AIter threatening to remove us Irom
the stadium, he demands to see our tickets to ensure we were sitting where we are actually
supposed to be. He takes one look at the ticket beIore apologizing proIusely and walking us back
to our seats. As the guard leaves, I see the disappointment in the neighboring Ians` eyes that we
were able to return. Moments aIter the security guard is out oI sight, the surrounding area
explodes with rage. The two men in sitting in Iront oI us stand up to yell at us that we don`t
belong there, while a grown woman down the aisle screams at my mother Ior raising such
terrible children. The older man to our leIt mutters under his breath that the reason Ior our horrid
behavior lays in the Iact that my dad was in the Air Force because clearly Irom his perspective it
is the 'lesser oI the armed Iorces.¨ As the insults and pandemonium persists the stadium security
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have no choice but to return in Iorce. As my Iamily sat there in disbelieI, they escorted a group
oI Colts Ians Irom the area.
I always loved game day. I loved the peace that I used to Iind in it. Until that day, game
day used to remind me oI the unity between my brother and I--how Ior that day we could put our
diIIerences aside and get along with each other. The unity my brother and I share when our team
is playing became stronger Irom that incident. Every time I put his jersey on I think oI all oI the
great memories we have shared in it rather than this one. Now the second thought in my head
will always be the separation these sports create and the hatred I Ielt purely because I was
cheering Ior a diIIerent team than someone else. I have come to hate this reckless dislike Ior
others based on something as haphazard as which Iootball team they choose to cheer Ior. I have
come to hate that aspect oI game day.
We sat in silence as the game came to an end, attempting to process the events that had
occurred that evening. When I looked up at the scoreboard as the Iinal seconds ticked oII the
clock, I saw that we won. However, this day will never Ieel like a victory to me.

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