“Oooooooooooooooooh Go State!”
Standing in the pouring cold rain, I screamed my favorite team’s chant as both Purdue and Indiana football teams kicked off at the Battle for the Old Oaken Bucket. However, the only Michigan State Spartan helmet logo in sight was hidden under my jacket as I was surrounded by Boilermakers and Hoosiers.
Growing up, my weekends were spent in the Notre Dame Football Stadium or watching the Irish play at Grandpa Ray’s house only a few blocks away. We always wore green and gold and were proud to be fans. We’d visit Touchdown Jesus and the Grotto, ice skate in the Compton Ice Arena, and play cornhole at tailgates with family. I always considered myself an Irish fan, that is, until my older cousins were moving on to college.
My cousins moved away to attend Western Michigan University and Michigan State University, and every weekend they came home with a new story to share about their “crazy” college lives. I sat down with my cousin, Austin, and he told me about the amazing college of Michigan State, and after a little investigating of their agriculture department, I was ready to sign up. I followed their sports teams and had everything decked out in Spartan Helmet logos, I toured programs and attended games. I developed a hatred for the University of Michigan and a love of everything MSU green and white. I screamed “Go Green” and shaped my path to be in East Lansing for college. I was ready to become a Spartan.
Yet here I was, standing in the visitors section of the university I will be attending while wearing an IU hat. Some may call it blasphemy, I call it confusion. With my closest friends being true Indiana Hoosiers and green and white in my veins, I somehow am considered a “Boilermaker” and sometimes don’t know which team to root for. Yet attending Purdue was the choice I willingly made. But you’ll still never hear me utter the words “Boiler Up”.
To this day you will hear me hold my spartan pride and be proud to attend a university that will create many opportunities. There isn’t any fine print that says you have to wear candy stripe pants to be a Hoosier, you don’t have to say “Boiler Up” to eat at Triple X, and you don’t have to attend Michigan State to sing “Victory for MSU”. We can wear our team’s colors, name our dogs after our favorite college coach, we can cheer for whoever we are proud of. Because it’s not about which team has the best record or banners, it’s about cheering for the team who makes us feel pride growing from our stomachs and willing to stand in the pouring rain for. Whether it be on the banks of Jordan, Wabash, or the Red Cedar, it’s about who you’re going to build an empire with.
Always screaming “Go Green”,
Morgan A. Hinz