This guest post is by Zachary Hoffman, a Senior and Comparative Religious Studies major at San Diego State University. He spends most of his time writing music for his a Capella group “Preposterone” while watching SportsCenter. He also maintains to know more people on his campus than anybody else, and has yet to have this claim challenged.

1) To Get Free Stuff

The most important reason you should go to as many sporting events as possible no matter how bad your team is: Often during breaks in the action or halftime there are awesome giveaways. These have been known to include free haircuts, pizza, wing eating contests, gas, gift cards, and all the wacky hats, armbands, sunglasses, and shirts you can wear. Honestly, it might be a bigger attraction than the actual game, but you don’t have to tell that big linebacker in your geology class.

2) State School Spirit

There’s no better way to brag about your state school being better than an Ivy League school than bringing up your sports team. Who cares if students graduate your school in 7 years? You won the championship, you have bragging rights which will most likely last until you die. There will be no free agent “decisions,” stupid lopsided trades (or blocking of them), and the appeal of watching fellow peers beat opposing peers is intoxicating. If that wasn’t enough, March Madness may be one of the zaniest, most adrenaline rushing, most tear inducing time of your life, and there’s no better way to experience it than with your peers and fellow fans.

3) To Be Rowdy

You get to be as obnoxious, uncouth, rude, irritating, and rowdy as you want as a college fan. There’s a reason why there is a true home field advantage for college sports. Make up clever cheers, research your opponents and come up with things that you can say to opposing players that will really irritate them. My school has this tradition of making giant head cutouts of famous, and not- so-famous, people. We also create cheat sheets with distracting things you can yell to specific players, which is very fun. You can dress up, wear wigs, wear sunglasses, paint your body, and show as much skin as a bikini model. No one is going to judge you, in fact, they may even come and cheer with you for a while. You can see future pros up close and say to your kids “I was there,” and they have to believe you (who are they to argue?). Also, there may be no better way to get a cheap date out of it as tickets are usually free.

4) Personal Connection

You have the chance to make friends with the stars. Never in your life will you get the chance to say, “See number 94? Yea, he’s in my English class.” You will probably take a class with one or two athletes over the course of your college career. Often they will be sitting in the back of the classroom on their Macbook Pro’s listening to their giant Beats headphones and not paying attention in class. Who knows, maybe you could end up being each other’s study buddies? The best part of making friends with a varsity collegiate athlete is getting a physical or verbal “shout-out” during a sporting event by that star forward you helped tutor in Math101.

5) Camaraderie

The final reason to go to your sporting events: there’s no greater sense of pride than the collective love, or hate, of a school. This may be one of the only things all 25,000+ of your classmates will agree on. There is nothing better than walking around campus wearing an “insert team mascot” shirt and getting hi-fives from fellow classmates wearing the same shirt.

Sporting events are not only fun and entertaining, they also help strengthen the sense of community among students. What school sporting events have you been to lately? Let us know in the comments!