As a Mizzou student, you’ll only have four — or five — years to take in college athletics while in school. You can make the most of these years through the incredible experience of a home football game.
No matter if kickoff is at 11 a.m. or 7 p.m., you can guarantee everyone is getting up bright and early to get ready for the game. Alumni and fans from across the country arrive at the crack of dawn to set up their tailgate spots. Students pick out which black and gold outfits to wear for the day, along with Tiger ears if you’re feeling wild.
Generations of Mizzou students and fans gather in the stadium’s surrounding parking lots, covering the place with tents, barbecues and, of course, cornhole games. All the way from the columns to the end of Tiger Ave, trailers and cars line the streets. I vividly remember getting woken up at 7 a.m. to some fans tailgating outside of my dorm room freshman year; Mizzou had a night game that day. The campus is electric. It’s like “Friday Night Lights” on steroids. You can even go over to the west end of the stadium a couple hours before the game starts to see the football players enter Faurot.
As great as the atmosphere is outside the game, it pales in comparison to the atmosphere at Faurot Field. One word of advice I have for every incoming freshman is to join Tiger’s Lair, the student cheer section with seating between the 40-yard lines. The seats are the best in the house and everybody in Tiger’s Lair goes nuts. And if you get to the game early enough, you might get painted head-to-toe in black and gold to support your team. You might get lucky and even appear on TV.
There are a few traditions that Mizzou students participate in at football games. The most common tradition is the “Key Down.” Every time Mizzou is on defense and forces a third or fourth down, fans take out their keys and jangle them as loudly and obnoxiously as possible.
Another tradition Mizzou students participate in is the “Missouri Waltz.” You’ll first put your arms in the air and sway them back and forth while singing to a tune. Once that part is over, you simply jump around and go crazy. The “Missouri Waltz” happens every home game before kickoff and the start of the third quarter. It’s really simple and a lot of fun to participate in. This is something the stadium does as a whole, and it is a sight to see.
After every game, all the fans inside Faurot get together to sing the Alma Mater, “Old Missouri.” At first, you definitely won’t know all the words, and that’s OK. If you go to most home games, you’ll catch on to it easily and be a professional “Old Missouri” singer by the end of freshman year.
While football games aren’t the only thing that will make your time at Mizzou great, feel lucky to go to a school with such tradition. There isn’t an experience like game days at Faurot anywhere else.
Edited by Joe Noser | firstname.lastname@example.org