It seems much longer than November 2019 since the last Wabash football game I went to. However, the wait ends this Saturday when the Little Giants return to the gridiron.
Wabash will face off against the Rose–Hulman Fightin' Engineers in a non-conference scrimmage beginning at 7 p.m. Aside from it being at Rose, this one will the first night game I've been to. It will not be the first non-Wabash/DePauw campus game for me.
Back when I was in Wheeling, W. Va., between September and December 2017 (when the world was still halfway right, I guess), I went to away games over at Oberlin and Allegheny. I went alone to the first, while Mom and I traveled together for the second. This was the year we got redemption after losing the Monon Bell in November 2016.
Fast-forwarding to 2019, I remember being at the final Wabash home game before Little Giant Stadium eventually got its massive overhaul. Of course, I was there when DePauw reclaimed the Bell in what has been dubbed as one of the rivalry's classics. COVID came along; there was no 2020 season. Campus closed off was maddening.
Even though things in the world are still not completely right with COVID, the 2021 season is here. Monon Bell will be at home this year — and it will stay home with our new stadium. But apart from the game itself, it's great that we're finally coming back.
I have never been able to explain it in any certain terms, but there really is something intrinsically unique about the Wabash football scene. Some might say it's that small-school camaraderie. It's getting behind your school. It's seeing people you know with the same interest (for some, it's undoubted passion). It's that kind of family aspect.
It's all of those things for me. Football is a tradition at Wabash, whether or not you consider yourself a sports fan. It is another silver lining a few of us can get behind.