The Short Game: What Sports Can Teach Us About Homecoming

Mike Carlson, Spear Contributor

Well it’s that time of year again. The time when guys buy paper poster boards like they are going out of style, the oh-so-clever Homecoming puns are unleashed upon the female population (My favorite is still “I otter take you to Homecoming”), and the thrill of getting that “yes” is felt by many a gentleman. This is also a time filled with rejection and heartbreak for those who get the dreaded “no” from their prospective date.

The good news is sports has both of these feelings on its ever-expanding emotional spectrum and is the best guide (or playbook) to a winning Homecoming experience.

Let’s start.

It’s a team game.

Homecoming really is a group activity. Each person in the group fills a crucial role. There is the quarterback who organizes and executes the entire night with surgical precision that would make the likes of Peyton Manning jealous. There is the diva wide receiver who cares more about how he looks than where his next meal will be. And, of course, there is the grizzled veteran who is going to his fifth Homecoming and is, most likely, on a first name basis with the DJ at this point.

Everybody’s on the same page.

For pete’s sake, be on the same page with your date! You do not want to show up at the wrong house, location for pictures, or restaurant while your date is hung out to dry. Communicate with your date or face being associated with the butt fumble forever.

It is what it is.

This not the Super Bowl or Prom so relax and have a good time. Awesome nickname about being cool under pressure not included.

Have someone in your corner.

Let’s face it. None of us want to ask someone to Homecoming on a whim. We need to know we are getting a “yes” in order to ask. That’s where your ringside assist man or woman comes in. They talk you up and ever-so-covertly get the valuable information needed to secure a “yes” for you. For a more flamboyant option, see Floyd Mayweather’s ringside entourage.

It’s about the little things.

If you really want to impress your date, do all the small things better than everyone else. Open the door for her, get her a corsage, buy her dinner, and speak like a gentleman. After all, no one wants to go to Homecoming with Jamarcus Russell.

The game is all mental.

Don’t catch a case of the Ron Artests (or whatever they call him these days) and get inside your own head over Homecoming. It’s supposed to be fun and not like anything like playing with Carlos Zambrano. If no coolers have been smashed by the end of the night, consider it a success.

Get on your horse.

Because what girl would say “no” to a guy on a horse asking her to Homecoming.

He is on fire!

Another good way to ask a someone.

Go big or go home.

Go all out during Homecoming week and enjoy every moment of it. Dress up according to the theme of the day and embrace the craziness. You only get four Homecomings in life, so why not have a blast at each of them?