Ben Larson reveals the struggles (and joys) of being a major superfan

The girls soccer team carries Larson after his unwavering support outshines all of the other fans.

Em Paquette

The girls’ soccer team carries Larson after his unwavering support outshines all of the other fans.

Ben Larson, alive and well, recounts the four-hour calamity that was his experience during BSM’s soccer teams’ first section games:

4:45 pm – I pull into the BSM parking lot and make my way up to the ticket gate. I walk with an air of importance and belonging––as if the other fans were arriving to see me––in an effort to avoid the $6 entrance fee. I see Ms. O’Keefe in the ticket booth. I pay the $6 entrance fee.

5:00 pm – The boys’ soccer game begins, and so does the rain. I scoff. I’m wearing a waterproof jacket.

5:15 pm – The rain scoffs back at me. Whereas my ability to radiate warmth is fixed, the rain’s magnitude and chill is not. I had also disregarded one detail that I realize now to be very important; I am not wearing a hood. The water pours down on me at increasingly powerful levels, and I yearn for the inside of my bed. But I still cannot leave. A super fan would never abandon their post.

5:30 pm – More fans begin to arrive, and with them comes a variety of new ideas on how to beat the icy-chill that has begun to enter into my veins. One of which is to hide beneath the bleachers. We travel down to below the metal shield with a sense of arrogance. The rain can’t reach us here; we laugh to ourselves. We’re safe.

5:32 pm – Senior Sarah Hansberry (fake fan) leaves the game to go babysit, but her coveted blanket does not. I hold on tight to this blanket. You will hear mention of this saving grace again.

5:35 pm – The rain laughs back at us. Although we may be safe from the water, the penetrating cold is not to be evaded. The bleachers act as a catalyst for the wind, and we are pelted from all angles. Our view of the field is limited. Things are looking dark. Many fans leave. But I do not. I stay strong.

5:40 pm – I make my way back up to the bleachers, blanket wrapped tightly around my soaked body, and I cheer as loudly as I can.

6:45 pm – People have come and gone, but I remain. I look to my fellow compatriots with glee as the clock runs down, and our victory over the DeLaSalle Islanders is finalized. For a moment, I do not feel cold.

6:46 pm – It is very dark, and I am freezing. The girls warm up, and I chat with my friends, many of whom decide that they’re simply not strong enough to stay for the girls’ game against Fridley. But I am. Then, lightning strikes…literally. The game is delayed indefinitely, and I am exiled from the metal bleachers.

I am colder than I’ve ever been before, and yet I am still having a great time. This is peak high school.”

— Ben Larson

7:00 pm – I sit in an overly heated car and contemplate the meaning of life. The song “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by the Clash plays on repeat inside my brain. I cling to the life-bringing blanket, looking to it for answers, when, all of a sudden, I see senior Manager Julia Duda’s snap story: “Game’s on, be at the turf @7:20.” Take that rain.

7:20 pm – The game begins, and I stand alone in the coveted rail position on the bleachers. I take no notice that no one is around me. The game and the rain are all I can think about. But at this point, I am a pro. The blanket wrap is pristine, the morale is up, and I am once again confident in myself.

7:22 pm – I lose all confidence, and I am shaking from the cold.

7:40 pm – Friends arrive and the Red Kittens are dominating. I am colder than I’ve ever been before, and yet I am still having a great time. This is peak high school.

9:00 pm – The game ends. BSM is once again victorious. I walk to my car, taking my time, and I look up into the air. The rain shines down all around me, but it no longer feels like an enemy. My hair is cemented to my head, and my shoes feel less like protective footwear and more like swimming pools for my lower extremities, but I still smile. I say goodbye to the falling H2O and the school-spirit-filled tie blanket with nostalgia in my heart, and I drive home to my awaiting fireplace.

Update: Ben Larson’s mother has scheduled a doctor’s appointment. There has been a lot of coughing. Pneumonia is not off the table.