I, as a student, genuinely appreciated Student Appreciation Day. This was my first year going and I’m glad I decided to attend. It was a unique experience that not many people get to have. This was also my first time inside The Bubble and it felt smaller than it looked on the outside.
Rutgers Football held an open practice for students to attend and they had fun with it. There was music blasting in the facility, there was a raffle, and students were invited to participate in certain drills and the 40-yard dash at the end.
The event itself lasted for about two and a half hours, and we were able to watch from the sidelines as the team practiced, and went through drills and stretches. They eventually got into some gameplay towards the end of the event.
If today’s Student Appreciation Day taught me anything, it’s that the team values its fans, the ones who continually come out to support them and watch games, even though the team has underperformed. I went to my first game last semester (where they lost 39-0 against Penn State) and even though it was freezing and rainy, and we all huddled together, it was worth it. That student section was filled, all of us donning red and black and a variety of Rutgers apparel. And even though the team got blown out (which unfortunately was a recurring theme last season), we stayed and we watched and we cheered.
The atmosphere today was no different. Student attendance wasn’t nearly as high as it is for games, but it was a fun experience for those of us that did go. There’s a buzz in the air; Rutgers Football is going to do some incredible things in the future and we get to watch.
Also, the best way to get students to come to events is by giving them free t-shirts:
And you can say what you want about the slogan #TheHunt, but I like it. I think it suits Rutgers Football and it unites them as one. They have something to prove this coming season to their fans, to the Big Ten and the rest of the college football world, but most importantly, to themselves. And no matter what happens, we’ll be there.