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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Eagle

A taste of school spirit

AU students consistently have the “Should AU have a football team” debate. Whenever the debate arose in the last three years I was oddly quiet, mostly due to my indifference toward the topic.

Don’t get me wrong, I was never against AU having a football team, but my “semi-international” kid status meant I was completely unexposed to the culture of football growing up. I watched football and proudly cheered on the 49ers, but I’d never been to a football game, worn a jersey or tailgated. None of the international schools I went to had a football team, and I coincidentally chose to go to a university that doesn’t have one either.

My perspective on football changed this weekend however, when I went to visit my brother at University of Southern California in Los Angeles for Trojan Family Weekend.

Before heading off to Los Angeles, I expected USC’s parent weekend to be better than the All-American Weekend at AU. USC is a bigger school that makes a lot more money and has a much larger reputation to uphold.

I was surprised that I found certain aspects of AU’s parent weekend to be better than USC’s. Sure, USC had an app dedicated to the weekend and a beautiful campus blessed with constant summer weather, but AU had better food, renowned headliner speakers and great entertainment. The Beach Boys cannot come close to John Legend and Anderson Cooper, and fall in D.C. is beautiful, even if it’s chilly.

However, my experience and weekend changed when I went to a Trojan football game. The morning of the game, it seemed as if the campus had transformed. The once-green quads were covered in tents that housed everything from alumni grilling burgers to fraternity brothers playing beer-pong, tailgating before the game. Everyone wore red, USC apparel and was outside drinking, eating and getting hyped for the game.

We then all walked across the street to the huge coliseum that houses the Trojans. On our way there, we could hear the clanking of students hitting the metal flagpole for good luck. Inside the coliseum the energy was contagious; almost every single seat was taken. The student section was roaring and the marching band played the fight song on repeat.

Needless to say, it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had so far. I quickly learned the cheers, dances and hand signs and was a USC student for two hours. I rooted, yelled and felt like a part of a community.

I left the stadium disappointed that AU didn’t have a football team, and didn’t have any of the school spirit present at USC. I wanted to be able to re-live this moment at AU, and not have to visit a friend at another school to experience the rush of college football again.

Maybe one day AU students, and could root for our basketball team fervently after a morning of tailgating and paint our bodies blue

Is it probable that AU will suddenly have a football team? No. If we had one, would we be any good? I’m not sure. I do, however, know that having school spirit changes everything, and once you get a taste of real, die-hard school spirit, it becomes all you want.

Julia Greenwald is a junior in the School of Communication.

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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