A View From the Golden Gopher

With the upcoming in-state rivalry game between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University approaching, the question of allegiance toward one of the schools often becomes a topic of discussion.

Growing up as a sports fanatic in the state of Michigan, many would assume I went with the norm and sided with the Wolverines or the Spartans. For myself and a few others, that wasn’t the case. We are on the outside looking in, never having any desire to join in on the chaos between the great divide.

Spirit days in elementary school were a struggle. I would get strange looks and questioning for my attire during Michigan vs. Michigan State Day. My outfits never included the colors of maize and blue or green and white.

I would receive questions along the line of, “If you had to chose one of the schools, which would you choose?” My classmates would pester me, (each time putting extra emphasis on the “If”) to chose between the schools. Despite their efforts, the pestering never resulted in an answer of which school I favored over the other. Even at a young age, I felt like I had a loyalty to the school and never felt the need to show any favoritism to a university that was not my own.

I was born a University of Minnesota fan. I bleed maroon and gold. Every spirit day, I would wear a Golden Gopher shirt and my mom would pin a sign on my back that read “Minnesota is the real U of M.” At the time, I didn’t understand what it meant. As I grew older, the loyalty toward one’s college or university became more than just parading around in the colors of your parents’ alma maters.

I admired the spirit that Michigan fans displayed during the Notre Dame game this season and I definitely give the university’s athletic department props on that stadium they call “The Big House.” I attended my first game there this season and that place deserves the name.

While Spartan Stadium can’t compare in size to The Big House, MSU fans have tailgating down to a science. The game day experience is hard to live up to at any other school.

Although the two Big Ten schools in Michigan have their pros, in my eyes, nothing can live up to my experiences at the University of Minnesota. The thought of attending any other college never crossed my mind. All of the students decked out in maroon and gold, combined with the school’s new stadium make the game day experience insurmountable. Just stepping foot on campus gives me that rush of wanting to be a superfan.

People should proudly display loyalty toward their school, disregarding the allegiance of their friends, the influence of their parents or the outcomes of the games.