Bison and Tigers from all over united at the 9:30 Club to bring in the well-awaited AT&T Nation’s Football Classicweekend. The crowd jammed to new and old hits while they waited for performances by “new school” artist Wale and “old school” band E.U.
“This event was the first event of the weekend, and it was the first time we met up with ‘Spelhouse,’” said Tyrone Hankerson, a student at Howard University.
The cheerleaders from Howard and Spelman showed their school spirit and competitive skills by performing well-known cheers and entertaining dance routines.
“I love our cheerleaders and their double-shake,” said Howard student Blair Allen. The “double-shake” is a signature dance that the Howard’s cheerleaders do in most of their routines. It’s a quick butt shake from left to right.
Succeeding the cheerleading teams were the captivating drum lines that blazed the stage with their beats and stunts.
The crowd of predominately young college students was not familiar with E.U. But, they knew the band’s popular song “Doin the Butt” and immediately started doing their “old school dance” to the song. The band warmed up the crowd for the headline performance by Wale.
The crowd was roaring when Wale hit the stage. He performed his most popular songs “Ambitious Girl,” “Bate” and “Lotus Flower Bomb.” Wale is known to have a huge fan base at Howard, and he frequently performs at university events.
“This girl literally cried when Wale touched her hand,” said Chidimma Nwankwo, a student at Howard. “I think she almost fainted. It was kind of funny.”
Students considered the kickoff rally a success and great start to the Labor Day weekend, especially the Classic.
“This rally made me really excited for the rest of this weekend,” said Michael Madden, a student at Howard. “I can’t wait to have fun with my friends.”
Fans Enjoy Bison-Tiger Rivalry From the Dance Floor to Football Field
The excitement over the second annual AT&T Nation’s Football Classic extended beyond the game for fans of Morehouse College and Howard University. The lineup started off on Thursday with a symposium on educational and social issues followed by the Paul Robeson Dinner on Howard’s campus.
Next up was “The Game Before the Game” on Friday, when students witnessed their schools face-off in the Benjamin E. Mays Student Debate, named for the former Morehouse president and Howard dean of religion.
However, the two events that attracted students the most were the AT&T Kickoff Rally on Friday night (above) and the Pepsi Fan Festival just before Saturday’s game at RFK Stadium.
Featured talent at the Fan Fest included rappers Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick and T.J. Holmes, former CNN anchor and now host of BET’s new show “Don’t Sleep.”
In addition, businesses offered products and information for college students, ranging from paying for college or food to joining the military. The final event was a comedy show on Sunday.
“I didn’t even know that they threw these events last year,” said Terqueasha Wooten, a student at Howard University. “I found out about them through Twitter and thought it would be fun to check out.”
— Alexis C. Holliday