Something that's always irritated me about Georgia Tech as a student is our lack of "football culture", I'll call it, on our campus. Other schools in the area have it -- Tennessee, Clemson, South Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Auburn, and even the school in Athens have never had problems getting their student body behind the football team. However, Tech's student body is an entirely different crowd. It's full of intellectuals who find sports boring, pointless, or stupid, and don't understand them whatsoever. They resort to Minecraft, Dungeons & Dragons, and watching anime on Saturday afternoons in the fall, where most Southern college kids would be scratching and clawing their way into the football stadium, trying to will their team to victory.
It can't be ignored that a major reason for this is the 4,200-plus students who attend Georgia Tech that claim another country as their home. With American Football hardly extending its bounds past the borders, imagine yourself going to college in India or China, and being expected to show up to, and cheer at, your school's cricket match or table tennis match. Sure, it'd be easy to do once or twice -- but without really understanding what's going on, there's no way you're going to do it habitually.
It's become painfully obvious that a major portion of the Tech student body doesn't attend our home football games for the same reason. Understanding that, the athletic association has elected to step in and provide a way to combat this: following in the steps of Rice University for the past 3 years, Georgia Tech will be offering a football clinic for international students this Thursday for the first time ever.
Tech's International Football Clinic, scheduled from 4-6 p.m. and sponsored by the student government association, will begin with a welcome and introduction by Johnson in the football team meeting room. Later, the international students will have the opportunity to run through the tunnel on to Grant Field, paced by the Rambling Wreck.
Students will rotate between eight on-field stations and go through drills supervised by Tech's coaches and players. Following the clinic, students will enjoy a barbecue and social with the players and coaches.
The clinic is limited only to international students, who can sign-up for the clinic here.
Personally, I'm a little jealous of all of the international kids who get all of this face time with Coach Johnson and the players, but that's probably because I'm a little obsessive or something. (Who's counting?)
Seriously though, this is amazing, and I hope we do it again in the fall before the season starts up. Excited that we're able to do this? Foreign and planning to go? Think it's stupid and ineffective? Your turn, folks.