Getting a kick out of Lumberjack football

Bjorn Krondorfer and Astrid Klocke

By Bjorn Krondorfer
Director of NAU’s Martin Springer Institute and Endowed Professor of Religious Studies

and Astrid Klocke
Associate Professor of Humanities, President of Faculty Senate

This semester, NAU Football is poised to make it to the playoffs, two professors experienced their first live game—and the planets are still aligned.

We come from a culture where “football” means that a round ball is being kicked about, with one 15-minute interruption at halftime, until someone scores a goal. Going to a football game or, for that matter, any collegiate game, had not been part of our lives as German expats in the United States, immersed mostly in the humanities and arts.

Why now? Why at NAU? Why football?

We received an invitation to the game through the University Leadership Program. So we thought we’d do something to expand our horizon and get to know a part of the university that matters to so many people. Athletics programs contribute to the residential college experience that our students come here for, through many clubs and team sports. Spectator sports bring Flagstaff community members and alumni to campus.

We got to see a cheerful President Haeger, ran into Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours, talked to neighbors and colleagues, and exchanged tweets with our students who were watching the game in the Skydome and on TV. Everyone was in a good mood as our team was scoring and otherwise kept playing well, as we were reassured. And YES, there was also a point for kicking the ball through a goal!

During all the interruptions in the flow of the game we kept asking well-intentioned questions about the 5th-down line, why the referees were throwing hankies onto the field just as it got interesting, and where the beer was. So to assess our learning, we were asked to write this blog. We hope you will come to the playoffs. We are still waiting for that job offer as sideline commentators. Only at NAU!