This past Saturday, AT&T sponsored another successful year of it’s Nation’s Football Classic Game held at the RFK Stadium with a tremendous turnout of spectators wearing their school pride on their backs and asking every now and then cheerfully, “Who is the Real HU?”
The start of the festivities began on Thursday with the Technoir’s Innovator’s Classic. On gameday, the festivities kicked off with the Pepsi Block party, and despite this year not having any live musical guests to two-step to, patrons enjoyed music from various DJ’s and organizational tents represented throughout the tailgate experience. Not too far from the tailgate, a DJ battle was held under the AT&T tent featuring DJ’s from both rival schools, DJ Drem from Howard University and DJ Kamo from Hampton University. Also included was special guest Doug E Fresh who made a quick appearance to keep the crowd pumped before the start of the game.
But it’s not a real tailgate until you get your hands onto some good grub. From an array of different food vendors that served everything from crepes to fried fish platters, even an ice cream truck on standby to keep you cool in the heat, you knew you were at the right place despite the long lines. My personal favorite was the Capital Chicken & Waffle truck, I got the poppers combo and it was delicious. And, if you weren’t in the mood to eat a heavy meal, then you could still enjoy a sampling splurge and test out the newest energy drinks by Mountain Dew or if that wasn’t in your plans, Pepsi had samples of Ginger Spice soda that would surely give your taste buds a nice spin.
Despite all the fun action that went on throughout the traditional tailgate, game time started promptly at 3:30pm. I was allotted 2 tickets into the game by AT&T and sat behind my school, Howard University. As the spirit of who will take home bragging rights rushed through the nearly half-filled stadium, you could seemingly hear and even feel the clash of both bands playing in the background. Both bands ultimately showed out during halftime that was hosted by Rickey Smiley.
The start of the 1st quarter took off unsuccessfully for both teams as they each tried to score. Upon the start of the 2nd quarter the score was still tied 0-0. During a quick timeout AT&T presented $20,000 in the form of 2 – $10,000 scholarship checks to Howard University and Hampton University, individually. This may have ignited things. Upon returning to the game, the first touchdown was made by Hampton University and from there a blowout began for Howard University, who didn’t score their first touchdown until the end of the 4th quarter which ultimately cost them the game and ending score of 34-7.
Despite the blowout, I got to witness and join in on a tradition that has been taking place since 2011. I enjoyed myself this year’s festivities and will be looking forward to what’s in store for next year’s Nation Classic Game.