When I think about what would happen if DePauw wins the Bell this year, I get goosebumps.
Imagine it. Think about how loud it would be in Blackstock, and think about how incredible the parties would be that night. We would have broken a six-year losing streak, and the Bell would be ours. The momentum would be on our side, and a new era in DePauw football would begin.
None of this will happen, however, if we ignore our team. We ought to fill the stands every time our Tigers take to the gridiron, especially during Monon. Anyone who played high school football or enjoyed their share of Friday night lights understands how important the fans are. Football is a game of intensity, but nothing can kill this intensity faster than a quiet and empty stadium.
If we want our football team to be good, then we should support them. We can’t just hope the Tigers will suddenly reclaim the Bell without doing anything in return. Our athletic teams represent the University, and their performances partly shape the University’s reputation. When they win, they win for us.
This is why we need to go to the Wittenberg game tomorrow. Not only should we go, we should also stay.
Wittenberg, 3-1 this season, is always a contender, on both the conference and national levels. The Wittenberg Tigers won the NCAC title in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and this sent them to the NCAA tournament each time. Wabash served up Wittenberg’s only loss this season in a 42-14 rout. To have an honest shot at the Bell, we must face Wittenberg first.
DePauw is undefeated with a record of 4-0. If you respect Jacob Lynn’s columns as much as I do, you would know we have the greatest chance to win the Bell in years. The culture of DePauw football can transform into a positive and unified support system. In this culture, we can abandon pessimistic assumptions and adopt a fresh confidence instead.
According to DePauwTigers.com, 2223 people attended our last home game. I’d be willing to bet a good portion of parents and relatives of football players make up this population. This statistic is also not representative of the long-term attendance, as most of the students were too drunk by halftime to stay.
This is my challenge to the every student who is not on the football team: If you think about how great it would be to win the Bell, and if you actually would like this to happen, then start doing your part and go to the game tomorrow.
Cheer madly when Matt Hunt launches a touchdown pass into the corner of the end-zone, just out of the defender’s reach. Boo loudly when a Wittenberg defensive lineman jumps offsides because he’s too nervous about getting pancaked. Clap fiercely when we hand-deliver Wittenberg their second loss and cast them lower into the depths of the conference.
Think of it as a practice run. Surely you can admit that we, the fans, certainly need practice in our team spirit. Winning tomorrow’s game and preserving our undefeated record are great achievements in themselves, but November 14 is approaching. We’ve got a point to prove and a Bell to rescue.
Can you feel the goosebumps yet?
Weilhammer is a senior English writing major from Indianapolis, Indiana.