There was the smell of grilling charcoal lingering in the air, opposing fans walked quickly to avoid the constant hazing, and inside the packed stadium was a spine-chilling buzz.Â
Once, every other year, the campus of Missouri Western State University comes to life as the Bearcats of Northwest Missouri travel down to compete in a heated rivalry game on the field of Spratt Stadium.Â The fans proudly display their black and boldly wear their gold; they show up early to barbecue and haze the passing NWMSU fans.Â MWSU students and alumni squeeze into Spratt Memorial stadium like sardines, just for a chance to cheer on their Griffon football team.Â For one day, every other year, the common observer can look out into the crowd of black and gold and say that there is a football game going on at MWSU.
The problem is that the following week, or the week after that, when Washburn, SW Baptist, or any other division II NCAA football team comes to town, the campus turns back into plain-old boring Missouri Western.Â A passerby would often have a hard time distinguishing whether it was a college football game or just a high school junior varsity scrimmage.Â
This year a record breaking 9,007 people crammed inside the fences around MWSUâ€™s football field to see the Griffons take on their rival NWMSU.Â Regardless of how the game turned out, it was exciting to sit in the crowd and experience what it feels like to be at a game where the crowd shows pride in their school.Â
As of 2005 Missouri Western is a state recognized university.Â Itâ€™s time we start to show some pride in our athletics.Â A good place to look might be just across the field next time NWMSU comes to town.Â This year they lost their opening game and they still brought nearly as many fans to the big rivalry game as Missouri Western did.Â Anyone who has traveled to Maryville to watch a football game knows what Iâ€™m talking about.Â They show pride in their team every single week, win or lose.
For those who havenâ€™t been paying attention, we have a team to be proud of right now.Â Just last year the Griffon football team finished with a very impressive 9-3 record, and they made an appearance in the NCAA-II playoffs.Â There has never been a better time to be a MWSU student and fan.Â Saturday, September 9, Washburn is coming to town.Â Be proud to be a Griffon and get out to cheer for our football team against somebody other that Northwest.Â