One definition of homecoming is an annual event at schools, colleges and universities for visiting graduates.
Another definition for the word is the return of a group of people to a place formerly regarded as home or a celebration of such a return.
Among today’s college students those definitions may be a little off in comparison to their idea of homecoming.
Many students know nothing about homecoming aside from which clubs to go to, what to wear and where not to park.
Are they attending the game to cheer on our mighty Rattlers and show school spirit, or are people going to the game in an attempt to add new numbers to their phonebooks? It could be that they do not even go to the game and just wait until it’s over and find a good spot in the parking lot to ”post up.”
FAMU sure does have a great marching band, it could be the case that people go just to see the halftime show.
On the other hand, you have your die-hard Rattler maniacs, who can be found in the stands screaming at the top of their lungs and sporting the brightest orange and green you’ve ever seen.
These guys cheer whether there’s a touchdown or just a gain of seven. It is fair to say that these orange and green-blooded fans are mostly alumni.
Alumni are usually the fans seen carrying all sorts of FAMU flags, hats and t-shirts; does that mean that they are there for the real reason? Who’s to say, but no one can argue that the game, for many people, is not the main attraction. Alumni feel that the game and the other traditional events such as the parade and the coronation should be focused on more.
Dr. Roscoe Hightower Jr., a Marketing professor in the School of Business describes the game and the other traditional activities as, ”an electrifying atmosphere,” and ” a chance to see old friends and reminisce.” He also added that the homecoming game is always filled with love and tradition , something that’s hard to find in most non-HBCU’s.
When the week of October 22 arrives, with such an array of campus activities, it is hard to say which activity will students anticipate the most. Hopefully, it’s the game on Saturday against the Spartans of Norfolk State (1-5). Of course it is, but wait a minute, there’s the kick-off bash on Monday, the fashion show on Tuesday, the step show on Wednesday, the comedy show on Thursday and the Battle of the Bands on Friday. With all of these other events and activities taking place the actual game can easily be overshadowed, possibly taking attention away from the game.
”The game still is the main attraction, because more people from out of town come to Tallahassee for the game than any other event,” said Venus White a senior business administration major from Chicago, Ill. She actually isn’t a big pigskin fan but still attends the game for the experience and the halftime show. She also goes to showcase her school spirit because students show much more than at the other games and she feels it is important.
The players are most likely so focused on the task at hand, protecting their home turf, that they don’t even pay attention to what the fans are doing while at the game.
”We’re here to play, our true fans will stay and help support us,” said Rashard Pompey, a political science major and the starting running back, regarding why or why not the fans in attendance are an issue.
Homecoming is an exciting, unforgettable, fun-filled time of the year. During homecoming new friendships emerge, old friendships rekindle and FAMU gets a chance to demonstrate why it’s one of the most renown HBCU’S in the nation.
The football game is where all of these things can be found in one place.
Contact James Harden at email@example.com