The leaves are falling and the wind chill is getting a little colder, that means it is football season and the best way to conclude the season is by defeating our biggest rival.
This rivalry of two small private schools in Virginia started in 1893. Hampden-Sydney’s President Richard McIlwaine did not allow the football team to travel, so R-MC brought the pain to them. The first edition of The Game was at Hampden-Sydney, where the Yellow Jackets defeated the Tigers 12 to 6.
In the 1900s, both colleges used metaphors comparing the game to Roman gladiator fights and bloody contests. In a 1913 edition of the Yellow Jacket newspaper, a R-MC student referred to Hampden-Sydney as its worst enemy.
The students of Hampden-Sydney took this phrase literally as freshmen were responsible for guarding the campus against R-MC students before The Game.
The phrase of the “Oldest small school rivalry in the south” was first coined by ESPN and has stuck with the rivalry for 120 games later. Along with the determination of the football team, there has never been a lack of student participation.
Fortunately, this legacy has had positive effects on each student body. In the late 70s and early 80s, there was a weeklong of events that involved blood drives and community service.
Regardless of the immense competition between the two teams, The Game has had a positive impact on the students and their communities.
The rivalry between the two teams is embedded in both colleges. The drive of the student body behind The Game has led to many traditions of both schools. Grounded in immense competition, this rivalry has extended to every male sport team on campus.
The best is always is saved for the last and this is true for R-MC’s game against Hampden Sydney. The history behind what is known as “The Game” is quite unique as it involves over a hundred years of tradition.
There are a few things on this campus that are as old as our rivalry with Hampden-Sydney and even fewer athletic traditions at R-MC.
This one game is the accumulation of all the long practices, nights of studying film, and reviewing plays.
This game is where the hard work pays off.
The atmosphere is indescribable, whether if the game is on our newly constructed new Day Field or if it’s on Fulton Field.
It is one of the highlights of the football season and athletic events of the school year.
I have lost my voice a couple of times at the game and I plan on doing the same this year.
The hundreds of feet stomping on the bleachers, the accepted belligerence, and the Yellow Jacket pride makes you proud to go to a small private liberal arts school in the Center of the Universe.
-Jordon Lee ’16, Junior Sports Editor