Hudson’s first Gamecock football experience

A couple of weeks ago, Todd and I started talking about taking Hudson to his first Gamecock football game. We thought the game against UAB would be a good one for him to attend, as we expected that the crowd would be a little more tame since it wasn’t an SEC opponent.

RC and PC kept Hayes at their house, and we got Hudson all decked out in his Gamecock apparel for his first Williams Brice Stadium experience.

We decided not to tailgate, and to just get to the stadium an hour before kickoff. We knew that would give us plenty of time to make our way to the stadium and get situated in our seats before any of the pregame entertainment began.

Hudson was so excited about his hat and the Gamecock on the back of his hat and on his shirt. We held his hands and walked to the stadium. He was paying very close attention to everything. He noticed all the cars, all the Gamecock gear, all the policemen and police cars.

Our first stop was at the concessions stand. We had promised Hudson a Sprite (a treat he’s only had once before) and popcorn. He was so excited! We got inside the stadium really early, so it was easy for him to see everything and he was able to see the band file onto the field.

When the Gamecock first crowed over the loud speaker, Hudson was immediately fascinated by the whole experience. He loved the fireworks every time we scored and he loved the rooster crowing. He clapped when everyone  clapped and loved shouting, “Go Cocks!” at the top of his little lungs.

We made three trips to the restroom- and he still never actually used the restroom. I think he just wanted to see the restroom. He just got the full Williams Brice experience!

We left right before half time. He had started to lose interest in the game and we’d run out of chicken fingers. I asked him if he was ready to go home, and he said, “Okay, mommy. Let’s go home.”

He was such a grown up little boy. I was so proud of him on Saturday. He was super excited and appreciative of everything he saw. We may take him to another low key game this season. He was such a little trooper.

We went to RC and PC’s house after the game to pick up Hayes. Hayes was already in bed, and Hudson immediately started telling everyone where he’d been that night. He told them all about seeing Cocky and the huge jumbo-tron (he called it the big TV) and the Gamecocks winning. He was so proud of what he’d gotten to do, and that just made my heart explode with happiness.

We woke Hayes up and put him in the car to go home. On the way home from RC and PC’s house, the car was pretty quiet and both boys were sleepy.

I heard Hudson start talking to Hayes about where he’d been that night. He started telling Hayes about the Gamecocks and Cocky. He told him about the popcorn and Sprite.

And Hayes, he doesn’t say a lot, made a few excited noises and laughed.

And then Hudson said, “Don’t worry, Hayes. You can go, too, when you’re a big boy.” And I looked at Todd and had to fight back the tears.

Going to his first game is such a simple thing, but it’s such a big first in his relationship with his Daddy, who is a Gamecock fan since he was about Hudson’s age.

He may not remember his first experience, but he’ll always have the pictures. Todd and I, on the other hand, will never ever forget Hudson’s first experience and how we introduced him to a tradition that he’ll be a part of for a long time. (And we’ll just continue to keep our fingers crossed that he remains a Gamecock fan and doesn’t cross over to the dark side. Kidding!)


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  1. Melissa says:

    So I’m sitting here reading your post and crying. Before I met my husband, I would have never imagined a post about a football game could make me so emotional, but now it does :) . We are U of Michian fans and my husband can’t wait to take Josiah to his first game. We had hoped to go this Fall but tickets sold out for the whole season and since we live about 14 hours away, we are going to plan better and go next year. It sounds like Hudson had the perfect experience and it was his little conversation with Hayes that pushed me over the edge. Sooooo precious!!! Only one question: how did you convince your hubby to leave at halftime?! :)

  2. Catherine says:

    This post makes me smile. Some of my most treasured photos are from football/baseball games or times we have seen Cocky. That picture of Hudson smiling and clapping just makes me happy! I’m so glad y’all had a good time!!!

  3. I love that the first thing Hudson told me about last night was his Sprite and popcorn. HA!
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  4. Such sweet sweet memories!!! His facial expressions are precious!!!!!

  5. I know it’s not the hormones & just the fact that this is the best story, but I’m crying here in my cubicle. I LOVE this story! It makes me so happy that Hudson told Hayes all about the game. They are such great buddies. PS – you look fantastic!
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  6. I don’t have any kids yet but the sweetness of this makes me cry too! And what a kind boy with a generous heart to tell his brother he can come too- melts my heart!

  7. Jessica N. says:

    How special! This was such a sweet post. Don’t you just love seeing life through your babies’ eyes?

  8. Oh my goodness, Erin. This might be my favorite parenting post ever. I cannot wait to experience these sort of moments with our own baby!
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  9. This is THE most precious post. What special memories!
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  10. Kristen says:

    I could have used a Mascara Alert for this post; I’m a teary mess! Oh, E, this is just the sweetest thing. Wynn has been to tailgate, but he’s never been to a game and this makes me SO excited for that day. Love all of you so much! Go, Gamecocks!! 

  11. He’s SO cute! It looks like you guys had a great time!
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  12. Precious!! Looks like he loved it! We are huge Florida Gator fans (don’t hate, we shared our coach with you..!!) and can’t wait to pass all those traditions on to our children.
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  13. That’s awesome! It sounds like y’all had a great time and Hudson loved every second of it. K.C. went to his first game (on your dark side, lol) when he was three. He loved it and talks about it all the time. We haven’t decided if we’re going to make the trek to Death Valley with both of the boys this year or wait until next year when Kaden is a little older.
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  14. This is such a sweet post!! I love the emotion in the pictures–you can just see how excited he really is. Just think, in a couple more years you will get to do this same thing all over again with Hayes!

  15. Looks like you all had a good time!!
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  16. How fun! His little expression is priceless! You can tell he just having the time of his life with his daddy!
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  17. Oh that is beyond sweet and those pictures certainly are priceless. Those family moments are the best.
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  18. Absolutely precious!! Reading what Hudson said to Hayes made my heart explode!! What a wonderful memory :-)
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  19. This made me all teary! Seeing the excitement on that little boy’s face is just too much for words… I’m so, so happy the experience turned out so well! xo
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  20. I just love that sweet boy! What a gentle and tender heart he has!

  21. awww that is so sweet! I can’t wait for us to have our own moments like that at Tiger Stadium! :)
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  22. OHMYWORD this was SO precious. The pictures you got were just darling. What an incredibly fun “first.” I can’t wait to take Henry to a college football game. And the convo in the backseat on the way home…TOO CUTE!!
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  23. So precious! What a fun day for all of you, but especially Hudson! He looked over the moon with excitement!
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  24. AND he looked adorable in that Gamecocks polo ;)
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  25. love this story! so precious, and i LOVE that hudson told hayes all about it. such a wonderful memory, and you have great pictures to remember it all!
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  26. Oh my, precious! I absolutely love this!! I’m an Alabama fan who, much like your son, attended my first game when I was far too young to remember. Thankfully, we have pictures…but the way you have put the day into words will be one that he will love reading later.

  27. What a FUN experience!!! I love all the sweet pictures and his expressions!!
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  28. I love this so much!! So glad he had such a good time!

  29. What a special day for Hudson!
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  30. Even though we live in Greenville and are on the Clemson tiger dark side (haha) those tiny Gamecock fan picture are just too cute!! Love them!
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  31. I love everything about this post. What a perfectly special day for your sweet family!
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  32. Cheryl says:

    Oh Erin,

    This is one of the sweetest posts I’ve ever seen. Tears, tears and more tears. Thank you for sharing. Seriously. Thank you.

  33. This is such a sweet story! I went to a small school in CT where sports wasn’t such a huge thing, and my boyfriend went to a big midwestern state school, but he isn’t much of a sports fan, so I don’t think we’ll have days like this! Such a fun day for H!
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  34. Allyson says:

    OK, finally read it! Can’t believe I missed this one!! He definitely enjoyed himself…so happy to have a new little Gamecock fan among us…Go Gamecocks!!

  35. So adorable! :) Glad he had fun!
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