By Christie Melhorn, September 11 2017 —
The smoky sky and ominous red sun hanging over McMahon Stadium on Sept. 8 gave this year’s annual Dinos football Kickoff game an extra edge. Despite the haze, 6,238 Dinos fans roared from the stands, cheering the team to their 46–26 win against the University of Regina Rams.
Kickoff is a University of Calgary tradition that takes place just before the fall semester commences — perfect timing for students to indulge in a night of rowdy school spirit before becoming jaded by midterms and all-nighters.
Haskayne students Garrett Hughes, Tynek Kuczak and Connor Templeton boasted U of C pride, wearing Dinos T-shirts and painted red streaks across their faces.
“It’s one of the best places to meet people — especially in your first year,” said Hughes, now in his third year. “The football team’s great and it’s huge that everyone gets out here and supports them because it slows down during the year. People get busy with class.”
Kuczak and Templeton, both in their first year, said that attending the game has a positive effect across campus.
“When you come out and support your peers on the field, you’re going to support them everywhere — in the halls, in class. Everyone feels more connected,” Templeton said.
“We’re all a family here,” Kuczak added. “We have to support each other no matter what we do — whether it’s football or rowing or field hockey.”
Kuczak’s sentiment was confirmed by the many Dinos athletes who came to cheer on the football team. Wearing a bright yellow Dinos shirt, first-year kinesiology major and volleyball player Alexis Peart said it is important for student athletes to support each other.
“Showing support at games really helps,” Peart said. “If people have fun here, they might be interested in coming to other sports too. If we show support for them, they might want to come and show support for us.”
McMahon Stadium was electric with excitement, but first-year engineering student Haiqua Javed noted the game was missing the fun of some friendly competition between fans of the rivaling teams.
“I think if more people from Regina were here, it would be better,” Javed said.
While some enjoyable tension was absent from Kickoff, McMahon boomed with energy and vibrancy that only grew stronger as the Dinos secured their victory.