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Get Rowdy for UMaine Football 

You don’t need to attend a football game to check all 50 items off the University of Maine’s “50 Things to Do Before You Graduate” bucket list. Number four is “Tailgate at the Homecoming Football game,” but you don’t need to step a single foot into the Alfond Stadium to achieve this. 

This lack of hype towards the football games from the university is reflected in student attendance. Not many students are attending the football games – at least not on a regular basis. 

Patty Andersen, a fourth-year education student, has never attended a UMaine football game. 

“I don’t like football,” she explained. “I’ve become pretty disenchanted with the university, which doesn’t make me want to go to the games anymore.” 

Sam Robinson, a second-year civil and environmental engineer, found himself at his first one two Saturdays ago on Sept. 30, when the Black Bears took on the Stoney Brook Seahawks. 

Robinson prefers outdoor recreational sports like climbing, biking and swimming, yet he found himself at Alfond Stadium upon request of his parents that Saturday night.

“I think football games are a little too long, not exciting, and I don’t know other students who go,” said Robinson. 

However, he was pleasantly surprised by his experience. Although Robinson sat in the general section, far away from the students, he still felt the comradery and school spirit in the stands. 

Gabe D’Angelo, a fourth-year kinesiology student, estimates that he attends around a fifth of the home football games. 

“The student section gets rowdy, and it’s fun, good energy,” D’Angelo said. “But, sometimes the energy isn’t there.” 

It seems like the hype for UMaine football is dwindling, even though it’s the first big sport of the year. You’d think that students would be stoked to be back on campus, supporting their team, but this isn’t always the case. 

Two months into the semester, the atmosphere shifts as students get ready to get rowdy for the UMaine hockey team. 

“The hockey games are very chaotic,” said Robinson, who is stoked to enter the Alfond arena more this year.

Students bring wild bundles of school spirit to UMaine hockey games. “The Naked 5” is a group of five students known for taking their shirts off at hockey games and running around the Alfond arena with the letters “M,” “A,” “I,” “N” and ‘E” painted on their stomachs. “The Naked 5” tradition has existed since 1993. 

Of course, this chaotic energy radiates through the student body, enticing more students to attend and motivating the players to make their fans happy with a win. 

Even UMaine’s bucket list urges students to attend the hockey games. Listing, “Sit in the student section at a UMaine vs. UNH men’s ice hockey game” as number 13 on their list. 

The UMaine football team does not receive this level of support from the student body. 

Ethan Crawford is a second-year student in UMaine’s five-year athletic training program. This fall, he sits on the sidelines with the football team as a part of their medical staff. 

Crawford explains that higher attendance rates at football games play an important role in the players’  morale. More students means more motivation for the players to perform well. 

“The players love it and need it. They love playing at home. They love their fans,” Crawford said.

Although he does not sit in the student section, he has traveled down to Florida International University and the College of William and Mary with the football team. 

At Florida International University, the student section was a wave of their school colors. 

“It was probably motivating for their players to see so much support from their fellow students,” said Crawford. 

At the College of William & Mary, the student section was sold out. 

“You can tell that it’s a school tradition to go to football games and go wild,” he said. 

According to Crawford, the UMaine student section at football games isn’t too bad. However, he notices many students sitting in the general section and wishes they would fill out the student section more. 

“If there were a way to entice students to gather in the student section, like a white-out or blackout game, maybe there’d be a better turnout,” said Crawford. 

Although the student section at the football game doesn’t feel as cohesive and uniting as at the hockey games, the students that attend do their best to be loud and to cheer on the players – and it works.

According to Crawford, after the Stoney Brook game ended, the players ran to the band, which sits on the edge of the student section, and jumped around and cheered with them. 

“It was electric in the stadium,” said Crawford. “The same kind of loudness you feel at a concert that just makes you happy.” 

Football games can be fun, and it is important for the student body to support their teams. 

There are two more home football games this semester: one on Oct. 28 against the University of Albany and the other on Nov. 4 against Hampton University. Show up and get rowdy. 

If you feel especially motivated to support our football boys, their final game of the season is only three hours away against our biggest rival, the University of New Hampshire. Carpool with some buddies and show your support on Nov. 18 as they battle for the Brice-Cowell Musket.

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