FACE OFF: Bad losses, past animosity will boost Bison to defeat Rattlers

When my “Brother in Scribe,” John W. Marsh, approached me last week with the idea of collaborating in “Head to Head” columns leading up to tomorrow’s Howard University/Florida A&M University game, I jumped at the chance to play a small role in the rivalry that is Howard and FAMU.

FAMU is a good school. I considered gracing the Rattlers with my presence upon my graduation from high school, but I used my better judgment and chose to attend Howard- yes, John, the Mecca of black education. It is the same institution of higher learning that has been home to numerous influential leaders in “America and the global community” and continues that legacy today.

However, I digress.  This column is hardly about me and my academic choices.

By now, everyone has heard about Howard’s 46-7 loss to Hampton last week.  Thirty-nine points is a great margin of loss. Forty-one, however, is even greater. The Rattlers, always in a quest to one-up Howard – even in their defeat to Miami (51-10) last weekend.

Sometimes, John, being second in line may be a positive thing.

Last week’s contest against Hampton was a learning experience for the Bison. It was our first game of the season, a new offensive coordinator and three quarterbacks taking collegiate snaps for the first time all rolled up into one 60 minute game.

It was embarrassing, yes.  But after embarrassment marinates in the mind for a week, it turns into aggression and improvement.  The Bison have something to prove to themselves, their fans and the world. FAMU is walking right into that wrath.

I’m sure the Rattlers are coming into this contest feeling quite confident following last year’s 33-20 victory over the Bison in Tallahassee.

The men in green and orange came out strong and shut out the Bison offense, as they took a 24-0 lead into the locker room at the half.

However, that is when you faltered. Your highly esteemed, Marching 100 band felt the need to get involved by throwing trash at Bison players.

Now, D.C. is debatably a Southern city, but deep down in the “Sunshine State,” but you’d think a thing or two about that good ole “Southern hospitality” may have been picked up over the years.

The Bison came back, intensified by this act, and outscored the Rattlers 20-9 in the second half.  Not enough for a win, but plenty for motivation.

Please believe the Bison have not forgotten being pelted by objects from the stands.  I would challenge the Rattlers to try that same act in tomorrow’s contest on our home field. But I would like to think that we at Howard have more tact than to participate in such activity. 

My prediction-Howard by seven.

Caryn Grant is the sports editor for the Howard Hilltop, the campus newspaper of Howard University. She can be reached at caryngrant86@hotmail.com.