BY KYLE SARPONG
Dragon Pride hit hard this school year, and it’s been spreading like wildfire throughout campus.
Sparked by the support of our men’s and women’s basketball teams, fall and winter sports and Dragon Frost, this years’ audience participation has tripled. Tremendous fan support for men’s and women’s basketball games has brought in an influx of students and faculty, and the term “Dragon Pride” really comes into context.
Having Dragon Pride is like an art. People display their high passion for MSUM whether through apparel or screaming and cheering during games. Just being there for your fellow Dragons is an aspect of Dragon Pride.
Fans scorched Alex Nemzek Stadium/Fieldhouse ever since the first kickoff and tip-off this fall. Set in November 2013, Dragon athletics had a promotion to bring fans to the games.
“U-Turn and win” is a promotional event for men’s basketball games during halftime. Teaming up with Valley Imports, “U-Turn and win” is a chance for you to walk into Nemzek, make two shots, and leave in a brand new car. Participants had to make a shoot-turn-shoot format shot in order to win.
Out of all our home games, no one has yet to succeed in the “U-Turn and win.” Another popular promotional event is the $100 hot shot. A participant has three chances to make a three pointer from both baselines and the mid three-point line. Make one shot and win $100 from Valley Imports.
“It’s all about the fans,” Jon Wepking assistant athletic director said. “We want them to come for great basketball and a great show. Valley Imports has taken our promotions to a higher level each and every year and we appreciate their continued support of us and making game day more exciting.”
Dragon Pride Fridays also exists as an incentive to wear Dragon apparel. If a student is seen wearing Dragon apparel on Fridays, then he or she could be given a prize for showing school spirit. On April 4 Scorch visited the C-Store and started giving away free prizes to people in Dragon gear.
The new C-Store is also an indicator of why Dragon Pride is at an all-time high. Having the new location is convenient with the proximity to Subs and Sweets, so people now don’t have to walk down the stairs to get their C-Store needs.
This new C-Store has a new profound look of glass windows coving all corners and visible products and goods from an eyeshot. Such a turnout of people coming into the redesigned C-Store is an important symbol of Dragon Pride — supporting MSUM no matter what the situation. In the case of the C-Store, it’s the grand opening or going to a familiar place. Showing up is all that it takes.
Encouraged by the Men’s NSIC North crown game, student and faculty turnout has been a high. The last home game of the regular season was met with great lengths and a sea of red. People flooded Nemzek ready to show their Dragon Pride one last time in the form of chants, screaming, black and red overalls, or bringing a friend.
Dragon Pride is so much more than what words can express; it is a term of excitement for your fellow colleagues and apparel is just one of the qualities. Being mentally and physically at games while showing your stripes in front of hundreds of students is what makes Dragon Pride such a crucial part of MSUM.
Fill the Fieldhouse, Pop the Cobbers, Courtyard by Marriott Athlete of the Week, Wrestling Duals, Bison Open and the Thanksketball games are some of the gatherings that draw people to the atmosphere of Dragon athletics. Supporting your school at home games is one thing, but showing other schools like NDSU, Bemidji or the U of M is prideful too.
I for one show Dragon Pride occasionally. But then again you can’t wear Dragon gear every day (maybe the colors). Now, I wear the occasional sports team and non-MSUM apparel, but does that revoke my RHA Dragon Pride award? No not really. I still am a huge supporter of Dragon pride 110 percent, and I show it in other ways besides just clothing.
Attending sporting events, activities, concerts and other events on campus means you’re showing support for the school, and being there by any means necessary is truly what Dragon pride is really about. Have any of these characteristics: the attitude, the confidence, the swagger, the look? That’s a true Dragon Pride supporter right there. I for one am proud to go to a school where Dragon Pride is widely viewed and is such a big deal. Go Dragons!