Hampton U. and the Princeton connection?
By Nina Ferguson
On Saturday, Oct. 8 the Hampton University Pirates football team took on the Princeton Tigers, and in the end the Pirates pulled off a nail-biting 28-23 win. The Pirates (3-2) took a break that week from conference games to play a team that is usually not in the lineup.
During the Saturday game Princeton’s faithful were in attendance, dressed in their orange and black. They even had tailgated in the convocation parking lot, along with the Ques and the Kappas.
Many students around campus were surprised to hear that the HU Pirates would be playing Princeton. Princeton isn’t a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school, so what is the point of this game?
“Does this game make a difference for us?” asked Kira Spears, a junior sociology major.
The answer is yes.
Although Princeton may be seen as a random competitor, they help our school.
“This is our second time playing Princeton,” said Brandon Thompson, a senior and volunteer football coach. “The first time we played we went to them. But its good that they are coming here because it gives our school money.”
So how does a school like Princeton help Hampton University? Princeton has a big following and those fans travel all the way down from New Jersey to see their Tigers play. The host university is able to benefit from the extra tickets that are sold, which may not be sold during other games.
We see this trend a lot in colligate sports. Sometimes smaller schools will invite a larger school to a game with the intention of scoring an upset and to make a few dollars in the process. We do not see this in just football but it often happens a few times in a season in basketball.
It’s not always if you win or lose the game but how much money you are able to make in the process.
But why Princeton?
Princeton is not MEAC and is not the closest school, and they are certainty not an historically black college or university. Then what is the Princeton and Hampton connection?
There is a “Hampton Connection” even when it comes to Princeton. Princeton is one of the top schools in the nation and is also an Ivy League university. Hampton in the meantime is one of the top HBCU’s and because of that it is considered to be an Ivy League-like school among HBCU’s.
This parallel is helping draw a connection between the Tigers and the Pirates. Its hard to tell if we will be playing more athletic competitions against Princeton in the future but any team that is able to fill seats is more than welcome to come.