By Haley Jena, Guest Columnist

Over fall break, I drove up to Michigan State to visit a friend. As soon as I stepped into Spartan territory, I felt the prodigious competitive spirit in the air. I saw almost every single passerby decked out in spirit wear. And, oh — everything was green.

It was clear that everything centered around football, with school spirit as the visible evidence. Friday night resulted in an early bedtime, compared to the usual time at Miami, due to a home game the next day. Saturday was an early wake up in order to get ready for the pregame and tailgate. By 3:00 p.m., I was one of approximately 75,000 people in the stands in a sea of green and white apparel and jerseys. I had never been in a college football stadium so full.

Now, drive 265 miles south to Oxford for a home game at Miami. Except, wait — most students don’t know or don’t care that it’s game day.

At a Miami football game, you’re one of approximately 15,000 — if you even go to the game. Upon visiting East Lansing, I noticed for the very first time the staggering difference in the two football cultures.

But guess what? Miami doesn’t need to be a Big Ten school to have fun on Saturdays.

Oxford has more bars than you can count on two hands, with Beat The Clock and Broken Clock packed to the brim with day drinkers any given Saturday. The thumping of music can be heard from blocks and blocks of day parties, and pub grub from Skipper’s or a steaming bagel from Bagel & Deli await you on High Street to help replenish and recover.

For those that don’t like to drink, there are boutiques for shopping, several community events during the weekend, cities like Cincinnati a relatively short drive away — and not to mention, football games. Our football team is just as motivated and hardworking, even if we aren’t favored to win national championships or have as many fans in the stands.

“Whenever the weather is nice — or even not nice, actually — I still want to go out in the afternoons to see friends and hang out with other people that want to go out during the day,” says sophomore Meg Hanna.

We don’t need a huge football game to motivate us to go out and have fun, in whatever way it might be. And when we do win, our love and honor is comparable to any other amount of school spirit.

Saturdays are for Miami students — we don’t need a Big Ten football team to have fun.

jenahm@miamioh.edu

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