BY KYLE SARPONG
Fall brings new students, a new school year and high hopes for the football team.
MSUM football is alive, and a milestone this year was their first historic three-game win streak since 2006. Dragon pride has circulated Alex Nemzek Stadium every home game, and our awaited fans can attest to that.
Looking back at our football history, we have accumulated rivals throughout the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference: Battle for the Axe – BSU, The paddle – UMary. But where has Concordia College been? Concordia joined the MIAC (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) in 1921, and MSUM joined the NSIC in 1932. These two colleges are only separated by one street, but haven’t played a regular season football game since 2007.
Sep. 1, 2007, marked the 86th time MSUM and Concordia met on the gridiron. Since 1999 (Power Bowl era) Concordia and MSUM have tied the series 5-5.
The Power Bowl was the historic rivalry between MSUM and Concordia taking place each fall from 1999 to 2007. The phrase was replaced by the Crystal Bowl (The Concordia-MSUM rivalry of the ‘80s and ‘90s) and gained media buzz all over television because of the sponsorship change.
The rivalry began in 1916 with MSUM’s thrilling defeat over Concordia 32-0. We last played Concordia Sep. 1, 2007, which beat us 34-32 at Jake Christensen Stadium. Private or not, different conference or not, what’s the wait?
Another thing that can account to the lack of football games is the beanie snatching. The historic rivalry behind these two comes via two traditions: Power Bowl and Beanies. In an Advocate article from Oct. 12, 2006, Concordia Campus security director Sherri Arnold said, “I don’t think any tradition that involves crime should be continued, and stealing is a crime.” Most of the beanie thefts occurred during the day, and the recklessness of the beanie snatchings was eight years ago, but it still continues to be a problem this year.
“Traditions are really important at Concordia … We want our students to feel safe and secure and have fun with this tradition, but not get killed over it or get in an accident,” she said.
The traditions at Concordia may be in direct relation to the Power Bowls. Tradition is tradition right?
Cross-town rivals have always been the norm in colleges across the nation. Conference realignments seem to be the issue in some cases, like how the Jayhawks-Tigers rivalry (Kansas vs. Missouri) ended in 2011 when Missouri joined the SEC, or the Longhorn-Aggies rivalry (University of Texas vs. Texas A&M) that ended in 2012 when Texas A&M moved to the SEC.
NDSU hasn’t even played UND in football since the 2003-04 regular season school year. Bearing all the realignments, the forgotten rival schools don’t seem to be meeting anytime in the foreseeable future.
However, in other sports the three Fargo-Moorhead schools meet often in basketball. Concordia College played NDSU and MSUM this year. NDSU had an exhibition game against the Cobbers at Benson Bunker Field House Oct. 30 in Fargo and won 98-49. The Dragons faced Concordia Nov. 22 at Alex Nemzek and won by a score of 102-55.
Although NDSU, MSUM and Concordia are different divisions and conferences, they still have regular meetings here and there.
Consensus? Maybe it’s not our discretion. Many factors play a role in the football scheduling process. Accounting for the days available, bye weeks and other things beyond our control we may not even have a say in things.
We may not have the long awaited Power Bowl X anytime soon, but having great fan support against our rivals in other sports still makes MSUM superb. Go Dragons!