Sep 21 / jmusport

Guest Post: Countdown to College Gameday?

John Engel won last week’s prediction contest in a tiebreaker and earned the right to guest post. Here’s his piece on the state of JMU football from the students’ perspective.

The countdown to Gameday clock ticked slowly and slowly down, the quad was filled with so many people and so much energy it almost felt as if it was alive. My two friends around me were passed out face down into the grass, from exhaustion of course (too much Busch) Finally 6 A.M came and it was a mad rush to get in line to get your ticket to be in the pit, the place you want to be when college Gameday comes to your campus. I can still remember Chris Fowler’s introduction, it gives me chills to this day whenever I rewatch it on youtube which happens a few times a week. I still remember the incredible tailgate and the unbelievable crowd (We wont talk about the actual game) that was my freshman year, two incredible years have flown by since then, which have included a National Championship victory and now a season in which the Dukes look primed to contend again for a spot in Frisco. Before I could be camping out on the quad waiting to bask in one of the greatest days in JMU history, before I could root on the Dukes all the way to Frisco and watch them dominate the Penguins, I have a small backstory.

I was born and raised in the heart of SEC country, Columbia South Carolina. Most of my family attended South Carolina, and for most of my childhood I grew up going to watch the gamecocks play football a few times every year. From a young age I was immersed in SEC football and SEC culture, which I carried with me throughout my childhood. My parents moved to Virginia when I was in elementary school but USC always remained my dream school until I realized the brutal costs of paying for out of state tuition, so I decided on JMU, not exactly thrilled about it, but after my first FROG week, meeting some of my best friends in Potomac Hall, and of course attending the crazy tailgates and the unbelievable Bridgeforth stadium I realized this was home. Lastly, I just want to say this, There will always be people in the background finding something to complain about, or even wanting more, whether it is a bigger stadium, a move to the FBS, a better game day experience, etc etc, all I have to say to those people is to hell with you, embrace what is happening right now at JMU, this is a special time for not only our football program but for our university as a whole, we have a chance of getting college Gameday twice in three years, a chance of competing in Frisco for a back to back, and we have beaten two FBS programs in three seasons. Our program is doing special things so i suggest you get on the Mike Houston Train! because with or without you were locking the damn gates for the ENTIRE season and were throwing away the key! I’ll be out there rooting hard this saturday and I want all of JMU nation rooting with me! Thanks for taking the time for reading my little article and lastly, JMU… DUKESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.


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  1. ShadyP / Sep 21 2017

    Excellent post and agree 100%. Now that the season is underway, just enjoy each Saturday afternoon to the fullest.

  2. Todd / Sep 21 2017

    So well said and thanks John! We have to enjoy the ride right now cause nothing is guaranteed in the future. And we can’t start thinking this is “normal” even though we’d all love it to be. If you told most fans in ’08 that after the 04-08 era that they’d have to suffer through 09-12 they’d never have believed you. So savor every moment whether we have Gameday or Frisco again or not. After all, it’s always a great day to be a Duke!

    Thanks again John

  3. Steve / Sep 21 2017

    Right on John. Looking forward to a fun and exciting 2017 season.

  4. Chris / Sep 21 2017

    Hell yeah. GO DUKES!!!

  5. John / Sep 23 2017

    Great stuff! Love your attitude! We should all be extremely grateful for what we are experiencing at JMU right now. Keep rootin’!

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