COLUMN: CMU/WMU fan hype is what college football is about
Nothing went Central Michigan’s way on Saturday while its win streak over rival Western Michigan was snapped at five games.
If you look past the 44-14 beat down, Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo had everything that’s good about college football.
The passion and intensity from both sidelines, student sections and programs were oozing into more adrenaline for the players, coaches and fans.
“I’ve never been here during a normal game,” said former CMU quarterback Dan LeFevour. “But for this game, it’s the loudest (in the MAC).”
The Broncos student section filled a third of the stadium with thundersticks, as well as chants that let you know exactly what they thought of CMU.
They painted their bodies and faces, wore arm sleeves with no shirts. Not to mention they spun cowboy hats and thundersticks in unison for kickoffs.
The students were the choir to go along with the band located in the middle of the WMU students and after the Broncos win, a player practiced as band director.
The Chippewas student section didn’t go unnoticed. They brought cowbells to fulfill and rang them to ‘Fire up Chips’, or ‘let’s go Chips!’ The front row of the CMU section banged its hands violently into the plastic stadium wall advertisements that echoed throughout the stadium.
The CMU student section also smuggled in some vuvuzela’s to make more noise while the Broncos tried to snap or change their play. Keys came flying out during third downs as “D-fense” chants were shouted.
Both student bodies were doing this at each other, but at the same time fed off one another.
While WMU scored one of their many touchdowns, the WMU students sung “Fight on Fight on for Western,” as the Chippewas were already focused on the next play chanting, “Block that kick, block that kick!”
The players were feeding off the energy coming from all around them. Slamming into each other, waving their hands up for more noise. Players also jumped into each other for high-flying chest bumps and celebrations as the student bodies were their mouthpieces for loud roars or disappointing gasps.
You could here a ball being overthrown from the sure joy of excitement as the player was seen breaking free from the defender, only for the fans to be brought back to life with the ball sailing over his head with a loud, sad, exhale.
The crowd for both sides was a smart crowd too. “Bullshit, bullshit,” was screamed on a challenged or questionable call. Another example includes when a running back only picked up three yards, but he worked for it, breaking tackles and moving his legs. The crowd rewarded him with a cheer.
No matter what side you were on for the game or how disappointing the outcome was for CMU, no fan there could deny the atmosphere was what college football is all about. Emotion, passion, nerves, adrenaline, sadness and jubilation filled the air all afternoon.
That’s how these WMU vs. CMU games are played, and while the Chippewas might not have done their part on the field, everything surrounding the game lived up to its hype.
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