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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Students share unspoken rules of Davis Wade Stadium

Alex+Howell+rings+his+cowbell+at+every+home+football+game+as+a+member+of+the+band.
Ivy Rose Ball | The Reflector

Alex Howell rings his cowbell at every home football game as a member of the band.

Maroon and white clad fans will file into Davis Wade Stadium this weekend with ringing cowbells and bellowing chants, signaling the beginning of another season of Mississippi State University football. 
Amidst the pageantry of pregame rituals, many first-time football attendees may feel overwhelmed and unsure about the unspoken rules of the stadium on game day. Luckily, plenty of Mississippi State students have already survived countless game days and are happy to prepare the freshmen class for the pressures of Sept. 2.
Abbey Reeves, a sophomore sociology major from Cushing, Texas, recounted her first game where she learned a valuable lesson, despite a major rain delay.
According to Reeves, she discovered that spectators cannot control the weather or the score, but they can choose their seating. 
She warned freshmen: “Everyone is standing the whole game, and if you have tall people in front of you, you will just not be able to see.” 
Arriving at the game early and choosing a seat wisely could make all the difference in your game-day experience according to Reeves, who now knows the unspoken rule about standing in the student section.
John Fox, a senior accounting and economics double major, seconded Reeves’ warning against sitting down. 
“Never sit down except during quarter breaks. If you want to sit down, you can watch on the couch at home,” Fox said.
In Fox’s eyes, the student section has an obligation to the team to show school spirit. 
“Bring a cowbell and ring passionately,” Fox said. “Cowbells are our biggest competitive advantage, so we should take full advantage. We are there to try and help the Bulldogs win.”
When asked to provide gameday advice to freshmen, Fox was eager to share his thoughts.
“Southern hospitality does not apply for the duration of the football game, especially in the student section,” Fox said. “We are far too welcoming of opposing fans. You can be nice at the tailgate after we win.”
Fox also encouraged students to take it all in stride, win or lose.
“Don’t take the game so seriously. No matter what happens, the sun will come up in the morning, and Mississippi State will still be the best university in the world,” Fox said.
“The games are more about the camaraderie of the passionate student section all cheering for our team than the actual result,” Fox said. “I get a little too invested still, but I’ve learned to enjoy the day no matter how mad I get during the game.”
Christopher Jolivette, a Famous Maroon Band drum major and double major in English and psychology, remembered his first game in detail. 
“I vividly remember the first time I set foot into Davis Wade Stadium and heard the cacophony of cowbells,” Jolivette said. “There is no atmosphere quite like Davis Wade Stadium. It’s truly more than electric – it’s palpable.”
When asked what he wished he had known prior to his first game, Jolivette commented on the relentless intensity and spirit of the Bulldog family.
“I truly wish I had known just how genuinely intense the fans are while being some of the most welcoming and kind fans in the SEC,” Jolivette said. “Being a Bulldog means being part of a family – a large, loud and sometimes dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless.”
Jolivette, like Fox, advised first-time attendees to participate wholeheartedly.
“Get ready to ring your cowbell, bring earplugs and stay on beat for the Hey Song,” Jolivette said.
Senior industrial engineering major Justin Aldridge, who has never missed a home game during his time as a student, echoed this call for participation.
“I would advise freshmen to find friends and sit down low if they are big football fans,” Aldridge said. “And never forget your bell!” 
Aldridge also disclosed that cowbells can function as more than just noise makers.
“Cowbells can save your seat,” Aldridge said.
While everyone may not know these unspoken rules before stepping foot inside the electric atmosphere of Davis Wade, any Bulldogs fan will be more than ready for Saturday if they have a cowbell and the enthusiasm to participate in game-day festivities.

About the Contributor
Rowan Feasel, Staff Writer
Rowan Feasel is a junior English major. Rowan is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Students share unspoken rules of Davis Wade Stadium