Having secured their seats on one of three buses, 160 Howard University students embarked from Cramton auditorium to the MetLife Stadium to attend the HBCU NY Classic Game on Saturday, Sep. 17. Students arrived on campus at 6 a.m. dressed head-to-toe in red and blue Howard gear ready to enjoy the football tailgate and watch the Bison take on the Morehouse College Tigers.
Terri-Lee Stephenson, a freshman psychology major, was most excited to support her school and the football team on this trip. “I love football, so going to a football game for my HBCU is quite the experience. It’s the first trip with my friends not having my mom there,” she said.
After traveling four hours on the “spirit” buses, paid for by Jordan Brand, students arrived at the MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Students were welcomed by members of the Jordan Brand, who escorted them to the Jordan Brand Tailgate Experience. Jordan Brand provided sandwiches, an array of snacks and drinks, games, music and raffles for merchandise all in an exclusive area for Howard students.
Dominick Lewis, the global brand marketing specialist for Jordan Brand and 2016 Howard alumnus, has been working with Jordan Brand for nearly a year and a half. When the Howard graduate found out his role in the 20-year partnership between Howard and Jordan Brand, he described it as a “dream come true.”
“Purpose means community in Jordan Brand. Ever since the video announcement dropped in August we’ve been activated. We showed up at Bison Week and now we’re doing the Classic. We really just want to impact students and faculty, really show love and embrace the HBCU culture. We’re bringing two excellent Black brands together,” Lewis said.
Like Lewis, hundreds of Howard alumni were in attendance at the tailgate and the HBCU NY Classic Game to show support for the Bison. William North III, who graduated from Howard in 1986, attended with his daughter, another recent Howard graduate.
“It’s always good to see the University, to see Howard and Morehouse. I went to it when I was much younger and I’m still going to it. Plus, it brings money to our universities. We have to let our young university students know that we support them 100 percent. This game needs to have a big crowd so we can continue to do this.” North III said. MetLife recorded an attendance of over 35,000 people at the game.
The Bison won the game 31-0 against the Tigers, making it their first win of the season. Before getting on the buses to travel back to their campuses and homes, dozens of Howard University and Morehouse College students danced together in the parking lot of the stadium while having an “H-U You Know!” versus “Whose house? Morehouse!” chant-off.
According to Howard University Student Association (HUSA) Executive President Jordyn Allen, depending on the game, students can expect more trips on the spirit buses to various games in the future. For further details, follow the official HUSA instagram.
Copy edited by Alana Matthew