OPINION | School spirit skyrockets post-Cotton Bowl

Mohini Yadav, Contributing Writer

Tulane usc
(Maggie Pasterz)

Hundreds of Tulane University students and football fans stormed the field as the football team scored the winning touchdown against the University of Southern California on Jan. 2. The game was close and Tulane won by only one point. But, this one point symbolized an incredible turnaround in the school’s athletics. 

This win was unlike others — not only did it mark Tulane’s victory in one of the most prestigious games in the division, but it also marked a historic comeback in the school’s football saga. Tulane ranked nationally in football for the first time since 1998 this year, an unlikely turnaround from the previous year in which they only won two games. Tulane was, in every sense of the word, the underdog, returning this season to prove themselves.

The rebirth of student school spirit — something that had not been strongly felt on campus for decades — is an essential narrative in Tulane football’s comeback story. Football games throughout the semester slowly boasted a growing number of students, as each unexpected victory by Tulane’s football team inspired a sense of school spirit unfamiliar to Tulane grounds. Homecoming weekend marked a sold-out field, and the school’s arrival at the Cotton Bowl inspired watch parties around the country. 

The unexpected success of Tulane football sparked an increase in school spirit and pride which seems to be on campus to stay. Basketball games are now sold out, and Tulane students line up outside Devlin Fieldhouse to try and get tickets. For the first time in decades, there is increased interest in athletic celebrations. 

 Senior Emma Clark Luster said,  “The AAC championship game was so memorable. It felt like a turning point in terms of school spirit.” When asked to compare her genuine attitude towards athletics her senior year compared to freshman, she said, “I used to not really care about whatever sporting event was going on, but now there is just a general excitement towards that on campus that we haven’t had in the past four years.”

The 2022 football season marked a change in attitude that extends not only to football games but all campus athletics. Seniors, for the first time in four years, are experiencing a campus where athletics are not just an excuse to tailgate but rather attend the main event. Tulane’s football season indicates that Tulane athletics should be taken seriously and with pride.

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