Two years ago, first-year Upper School History teacher Dr. Kaaz Naqvi stood in the stands at the University of Wisconsin’s football stadium, watching his alma
mater, Northwestern University, beat the Badgers for the first time since 2000 in Wisconsin. Despite the subfreezing conditions, the rowdy fans, atmosphere,and Northwestern victory made this Dr. Naqvi’s favorite football game.
Although he teaches history for a living, Dr. Naqvi’s true passion lies on the collegiate gridiron. He lives, eats, sleeps and breathes college football. He said the sport has been his passion from a young age.
“Since I was a kid my favorite sport was always college football; I think there is this cool aspect to universities as opposed to pro sports. The atmosphere is different from place to place, there are all these unique traditions and unique pageantries,” Dr. Naqvi said. For the past seven years, Dr. Naqvi said he has tried to go to a different college football game every weekend even if it features teams to which he has no loyalty.
The 2010-11 college football season was his most well attended. He went to 20 games in a 14-week season, sometimes attending two games a week or two games a day.
When the college football schedules come out in July and August, he chooses 25-30 potential games, and then as the games near, he begins to look at prices, the season records of the team, and what makes sense logistically.
“I tend to wait until they are at their lowest value and buy something affordable, but I don’t try to get the cheapest ticket because I do care about where I sit. I
like being towards the higher bowl generally, and closer to midfield,” said Dr. Naqvi.
Although Dr. Naqvi is not one for collecting memorabilia or autographs, he does collect tickets from every game he attends and takes pictures of the game,
fans, and city that he is in. At the end of each season, he keeps a scrap book collection of his tickets as well as a photo book from his game day experiences in college towns across the country.
Dr. Naqvi said he admires the fans’ passion and dedication to their universities.
“Each place has its own traditions, chants, and way of doing things, and it’s fun to be a part of the crowd.” said Dr. Naqvi.
Since his recent move from Minnesota to Texas, Dr. Naqvi has noticed a difference between the levels of enthusiasm for college football in the two states.
“People take it a lot more seriously [in Texas], most people there weren’t particularly knowledgeable and here it seems like everybody knows. Here, everybody is die hard,” he said.
Story by Maya Ghosh and Sonali Notani
Photo by Hayden Jacobs
Originally published in the November 2017 issue
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