We’ve got Spirit! Don’t We? By Ashli J. Washington

“Rock the blue the white, rock the blue and white!” the crowd sang in unison and by class as each classification took its turn to prove how much school spirit they had. Hampton University’s colors of blue and white could be spotted all over the stadium, from hats, shirts, seat cushions and bags. The band played and marched during halftime and even received a standing ovation by some.

The smell of hotdogs, the feel of heat and the sight of helmets all means it’s time for Pirate Football again. Though autumn is near, the blazing heat coming down into Armstrong Stadium is unbearable, but not to the students, parents, alumni, faculty and community who filled Hampton University’s football stadium at last night’s game. The battle of ‘real HU’ was fought between the Howard University Bisons and the Hampton University Pirates.  There were plenty of spectators in attendance, but was there any spirit in the air?

The battle of the real HU wasn’t the first game of the season, but for many students, was the first one after returning from their summer breaks. Hampton University police were occupied by lower and upper classmen all week, trying to get new identification cards, even until Friday up until close, in order to get into the game for free on Saturday evening. Communicative Sciences and Disorders major, Nakeshia Wright, a senior, was surprised at how many students were planning on going to the game, “I usually don’t see this many students excited about going to a football game, our school spirit can be pretty low in spirit a lot of times.” Perhaps the premise of the game, finding out who the ‘real’ HU is, drove many students out to Armstrong Stadium. In fact, students and alumni from both institutions near and far, traveled to watch which university would come out on top this year or maybe even to watch something else entertaining.

Many Hamptonians pride themselves in being some of the best dressed students on any campus nationwide and also insist the games are nothing more than a “fashion show,” says student Amorde Brabham, “people parade around in their newest, freshest outfit during the game, like they’re on a catwalk.”

The question still remains, was there any true spirit? Sure there were many students in attendance at Armstrong Stadium, but were they there for the game, or the show? Maybe students were there because it was their first week back or because last night’s game was one of the most anticipated of the year. Will they be back in spirit and numbers next week?  Or through the rest of the season? With the Pirates’ win over the Bisons 38-27, maybe Hampton students will stick around a while longer as they reign as the ‘real HU’ this football season.