HBCU sports fans across the country are preparing for the first annual HBCU New York Football Classic which will feature Howard University and Morehouse College on September 17, 2022 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. As tickets go on sale November 1, 2021, the event will be a chance to showcase two premier universities and an opportunity to unite loyal fans from all over the east coast.
With the Howard-Morehouse series dating back to 1923, the Bison lead the all-time series 25-10-2. Additionally, the two teams have not faced each other since Howard’s 35-17 victory over Morehouse at the 2015 Nation’s Classic at RFK Stadium in D.C.
This event not only attracts students, alumni, and families of the colleges, but brings the cherished football game experience, that so many of those who are a part of, the extensive HBCU network look forward to.
“The game is certainly the highlight of the weekend, but also included are several ancillary events, such as the Alumni Mixer, Scholarship Gala, Pep Rally and Step Show, Pre-Game Show, and of course, The Fan Festival Tailgating,” said the HBCU Gameday website.
While the company presenting the game, Sports Eleven05, plans to make this an annual event, moves like this one mark the growing effort to universalize the rich traditions and cultures of HBCUs and highlight the talent of the players that attend them.
According to reports by the Washington Post, ESPN is now broadcasting more HBCU football games across its platforms this fall and will even be including a record 39 Southwestern Atlantic Conference (SWAC) contests for fans to watch from their own homes.
The growing attention to HBCU Sports is also a testament to both athletes who got their starts at these institutions and return to them after they’ve completed successful careers as professional athletes. Supporting the NYC Football Classic and those to come are building blocks of a community effort to continue to recruit top athletes at historically black institutions and ultimately retaining the dollars spent in these events in those same communities.
“Not only is the notion that you need an elite school to get drafted high is not only ridiculous, but it is also historically inaccurate,” said Dante Pryor, Instructional Coach and HBCU Contributor for SaturdayBlitz. “Before white institutions recruited black players, HBCUs were the pipeline for the NFL and NBA.”
Copy edited by Lauryn Wilson