History proves that FAMU has held many titles but on the road to those titles they have endured many rivalries. Florida A&M University has had many team rivalries and many still exist.
” It’s that fun feeling that you get when you come to that rivalry game, like the feeling you get when FAMU plays [Bethune Cookman University], ” said Dean Henry Kirby Associate, vice president of student affairs FAMU alumna.
Kirby also said there is a mutual respect between BCU graduates and FAMU graduates
“Our top rivalries have been with BCU, TSU and Southern. During the game we hate each other, but after the game we are back to loving each other its just the love we have between the HBCU’s,” Kirby said.
For many years FAMU has been battling BSU on the gridiron, court and track. FAMU and BCU rivalries are one of the longest in the history of Florida universities. But BCU isn’t the only school that has gone up against the mighty Rattlers. A long time ago when FAMU was in the Southern intercollegiate athletic conference, their biggest rival was Tuskegee University.
“Yes back in the day Tuskegee use to beat us they were a small team with big skills,” Kirby said.
One of Kirby’s fondness memories was the Grambling University football game against FAMU.
” This was a good game because it brought to legends together FAMU’s coach Jake Gaither and Grambling’s coach Eddie Robinson.” Kirby said.
FAMU won its first national title under coach Rudy Hubbard and that same year they went on to beat University of Miami.
“We beat them by a field goal and the fans jumped out of the stands,” Kirby said.
Not only does Kirby have memories about rival teams that FAMU has played against, but some students on campus share the memories as well.
“Well my most memorable year was when we played Howard, where the football players disturbed the line of the marching 100,” said Michael Johnson, a fourth year business administration student from Miami. “You know at our school you really can’t cut the hundred.”
Johnson said he it was pretty cool that the famunity between fellows Rattler was shown.
“Basically, the football team, as well as, the alumni retaliated by throwing bottles and everything on the football field, to the point where they had to cancel the game,” Johnson said.
Jeremy Becks, a senior broadcast journalism student from Atlanta, and King of Orange and Green, said his most memorable moment was in Atlanta in 2005,
“When we went to the Atlanta Classic game, both bands were going backwards and forwards due to a band rivalry, but of course the marching 100 showed up,” Beck said.
Omari Crawford, a graduate student who serves as Mr. FAMU, from Atlanta said rivalries have always been a part of FAMU.
“Rivalries are a FAMU tradition,” Crawford said.