In the interest of getting people to fill the stands at Homecoming, Staff Writer Abby Rubel and Sports Editor Ross Chapman fill you in on how to pretend like you’ve been a Columbia Football fan all along.
So, you know that the Lions are 4-0 going into the Homecoming game against Penn this Saturday and you want to start rooting for them. But you’re a Columbia student, so you’ve probably never rooted for Columbia sports before, let alone the football team, so you probably don’t know how to do that. Don’t worry, though–there are a few basic things you can do to show those baby-blue boys your support this Saturday and beyond.
Actually go to games
It’s a long way to Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium at Baker Athletics Complex, almost as long as the name itself. But the games are free for students and Athletics runs fan buses up to the field, so you don’t have to pay subway fare either. The buses pick up at Broadway and 116th and start running about 90 minutes before the start of the game (although they’ll probably start earlier on Saturday because it’s Homecoming). Plus, if you’re a senior, they’ll give you beer before the event! The game will probably be about three hours long, so expect to spend most of your afternoon at the stadium. It’s a pretty big time commitment, but actually putting your body in the stand is the best way to show you care about the outcome of the game.
Know who’s who:
- Anders Hill: The quarterback runs the offense, and senior Anders Hill has done so for the last few seasons. He’s one of the captains of the team, so if you want to blame the offense, it’s a good bet to blame Anders.
- Oren Milstein: The team’s placekicker, Milstein is a sophomore responsible for kicking field goals. He led the Ivies last year in field goals made, and has made multiple game-winning kicks for the Lions already.
- Ronald Smith and Josh Wainright: This pair of sophomore wide receivers has done the bulk of Columbia’s catching the ball this season. Ronald Smith II went off against Princeton, including his dramatic catch from Anders Hill to win the game against Princeton a couple of weeks ago.
- Landon Baty: This senior defensive back/safety is another of the team’s captains. As safety, he leads the defense against the opponent’s passing offense, and has already notched an interception, a forced fumble, and 30 tackles on the year.
- Lord Hyeamang: Another team captain, Lord Hyeamang is a defensive lineman. Look for his name whenever the Columbia defense makes a sack or a tackle for a loss.
- Al Bagnoli: Formerly the longtime coach of UPenn, Bagnoli moved over to Columbia after the last head coach was fired for his poor treatment of the team and its students. But Bagnoli recently got into hot water by joining the National Anthem debate.
Another way to show the Blue and White that you’ve got their backs is by using your vocal cords. There are two ways to know when to cheer: pay attention to everyone around you and just copy whatever they do, or learn what the rules of football are so you know when something good happens. We recommend the second simply because it’ll make the game more interesting if you know what’s going on.
You should also know what to say to hit the other team where it hurts. For example, Penn (State) isn’t a real Ivy. And Trump went there, which means you can take out all your Trump-related rage on Penn’s team.
Dress like a fan
Wear Pantone 292 everything. If your underwear isn’t blue and white, you’re not a real fan.
Sound smart with your friends
Football games are social events whose main currencies are alcohol and trivia. While Bwog can’t help you with the first one, we have some stats and facts about the team for you to study up on while you ignore your real homework.
- Columbia leads the Ivy League by far in Time of Possession. The Lions hold onto the ball for over 35 minutes per game (out of 60), good for first in the Ivies and fifth out of 123 FCS college football teams. This is mainly a function of third down conversions. The team is third nationally for third down offense and eighth nationally in third down defense – when their backs are against the wall, Columbia players know how to deliver. This allows the Lions to extend their own possessions while stopping their opponents’.
- The Lions are generally a better team in the air than on the ground. Columbia has no star running back, and their defense has done better putting pressure on the opposing quarterback than at stopping the running game. Meanwhile, Penn’s Karekin Brooks leads the league in rushing yards. If Penn wants to win, it may lean heavily on Brooks for its offense.
- The Lions have have 69 third down attempts this season. The Lions have also allowed 69 points.
Post On Social Media
If you follow all these steps, you’ll know you’re a fan. But how will everyone else know you’re a fan if you don’t make a Facebook post about it?