By JESSE JONES
After a weekend of big games, the college football season is officially back and in full force. Due to Mary Washington’s lack of a football program, many students have not gotten to experience the luxury of attending a college football game. However, some students travel to ‘nearby’ Division I schools for the weekend in order to take in the one-of- a kind experience.
The process begins with waking up in the wee hours of Saturday morning, tailgating with thousands of your peers, and then sprinting to general admission seating in an attempt to get as close as possible.
Senior Connor Hudson had the opportunity to witness ‘The Big House,’ the stadium played in by the University of Michigan Wolverines, the largest stadium in the United States and second largest in the world.
“Upon entering the stadium, I was shocked. It was so massive once I got inside and deceptively small from the outside. However, it somehow still managed to keep in the copious amount swear words shouted by the fans,” Hudson noted.
The level of commotion taking place in the student section of the stands is just one aspect of what makes college football diverse. Aside from that, there is a much greater passion that the student athletes take in having the opportunity to showcase their talents than that of NFL players.
As a die-hard Alabama fan, Will Ritter said, “It is evident that they are playing for the name on the front of their jersey rather than what is says on the back.”
Although there is some individual reward to gain, that being the Heisman Trophy, given annually to the best college football player in the country since there is no compensation for their efforts, they play for the ultimate goal of reaching the BCS National Championship game. Bragging rights are another honor that players take extremely serious.
Hudson trekked to Ann Arbor, Michigan last fall to witness one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports in that of the University of Michigan v. The Ohio State University. He stated that, “the players seemed to have given extra effort and left all they had on the field because of the intensity of the matchup.”
Campus traditions are another captivating feature that makes going to a college football game worth it. Junior Molly Miller attends at least three UVA games every year and “enjoys pregame activities, taking selfies with the cavalier, and to taking in the ‘Good Ole Song’ if by chance UVA scores.”
Schools like Ohio State have more outlandish rituals like taping over all of the letter ‘M’s’ on campus and refer to rival University of Michigan as ‘that school up North’. Ritter enjoys partaking in the ‘Rammer Jammer’, a long-lasted Alabama tradition.
“The Rammer Jammer is taunting the other team and it is so fun hearing almost a hundred and two thousand people that all support your team heckle the opponent” expressed Ritter. college football, sports 9-7
After seven of the twenty-five top ranked teams and seven teams from the Southeastern Conference, arguably the overall best conference in college football, four of whom were ranked in the top twenty-five fell during week one play.
The 2016 college football season is off to a hectic start and cracked up to be an exciting one. As Mary Washington students who lack the ability to go to football games on campus sit by their televisions for college game day, their peers at major Division I schools gear up and mark their calendars for upcoming Saturdays.