Seeing as my neighbors started their tailgating music at 7 a,m., I was up bright and early to prepare to head to the stadium. Since I was a first time credential holder for football, my nerves were high and with new COVID restrictions I had no real expectations on what it all would be like.
My neighborhood was alive with at home tailgates, and Quality Dairy had a line out the door to stock up on game day essentials.
Campus was decked out in the most beautiful fall colors in honor of football being back, and the air was crisp with excitement. Once I pulled into the lot and gathered all my things I had a startling second where I thought I had left my student ID at home, followed by a moment of sadness when I realized I didn’t even need it to enter the game.
Once I was given my credential and had found my seat, I sat staring at what once was the most exciting place to be on a Saturday at noon. In my mask sitting socially distant from all the other media in the room, a barren Spartan Stadium stared back at me. The stories and past roaring crowds that it once held now felt like dreams that had never really happened at all.
The teams began to come out to warm-up, bringing some life to the field. A few players’ families had filed in to take their seats and things were starting to look more normal. The buzz of who would be the starting quarterback filled the air, and everyone was excited to see the team run out.
Both the Scarlet Knights and the Spartans cleared the field to get to locker rooms and there it was again, that nothingness. No roar of the crowd, no students bouncing, no last minute concession runs. Only the echo of the music through campus.
Videos of the Spartan Marching Band and Sparty played on the big screen, and to my surprise Thunder Struck rang out from the speakers as Coach Mel Tucker made his debut run to the sideline. I sat up a little straighter when a familiar voice let me know the current temperature and ensured that it truly was a beautiful day for football.
Then there was the game. Unfortunate and disappointing but not completely unexpected. Turnover after turnover had me slowly ripping my hair out and I had my fingers crossed when the second half came that Michigan State could turn the game around. But, rather than rehash the details that went wrong and what the Spartans could have done better I’d like to look ahead.
Football is back, things will get better, and Go Green, beat Michigan!