Missing the Football Experience at UT

By Lauren Johnson

As someone who grew up attending pep rallies and football games every Friday, I was disappointed to learn that The University of Tampa does not have a football team. While our university offers various other sports to get involved with, I couldn’t help but miss the unique atmosphere of a football game – the marching band, cheerleaders, and the excitement of a close game. Even though other sports can provide some of these elements, there’s something truly special about football. So, here are some alternatives for football enthusiasts at UT.

UT boasts a strong record in men’s baseball and soccer. If you prefer on-campus options, UT is known for these sports. Baseball has consistently excelled, often winning or competing in the National Championships. Cheering for them offers a good chance of witnessing a thrilling victory, and the energy is always high on and off the field. Moreover, if you follow their entire season, you might have the opportunity to witness them reach the championships once more.

Soccer is another prominent sport at UT. While they may not have as many wins, they have also reached the national championship, and this year could be another chance for success. The energy on the soccer field is electric, with the team’s camaraderie evident. They connect well with the audience, keeping you on the edge of your seat. Soccer shares some similarities with football, especially the excitement of scoring goals, making it a great alternative.

If you’re willing to venture off-campus for some football action, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently in season. After a recent win against Minnesota (20-17), the Bucs are known for their competitive spirit. They have upcoming home games against Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night football, Sept. 25. While attending these games requires purchasing tickets, it’s always a fantastic experience to support the Buccaneers. Plus, if you witnessed their 2021 Super Bowl win, you know that Tampa goes all out for football, perhaps even a bit excessively.

For those interested in intramural sports, UT offers numerous options. We even have a flag football team, which provides a fun way to experience the game again. You can meet people who share your interest in football, and if you prefer a more informal setting, you could start your own off-campus group for football enthusiasts.

If you’re eager to physically play the game rather than just watch, there are off-campus options available. Tampa Bay Club Sports hosts coed and men’s adult football leagues, allowing you to get involved and connect with like-minded individuals. Consider bringing a friend along for added fun. If flag football is your preference, Hillsborough County’s website offers options for 7 v 7 or 4 v 4 leagues.

At the end of the day, while UT may not have its own football team, there are numerous alternatives to satisfy your football cravings. If you’re struggling to find the perfect fit, remember that Tampa offers a wide range of opportunities that I haven’t covered here, so don’t hesitate to conduct your own research or seek assistance from the athletic department. There’s a football-related experience in Tampa for everyone!

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