In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s this little thing called a football game happening on Saturday. I don’t know, maybe you live under a rock or something. Nevertheless, should you be choosing to partake in all the magic in Cougar home football game ‑ especially the first one of the season with our brand new stadium and brand new coach - there are a few things you should do beforehand to appropriately prepare yourself.
1. Be sure to hydrate. Hydration, in whatever sense you take that to mean, is very important pre-game. It will get you and your body ready to cheer on the Cougs and, even if we do lose, though that won’t actually happen, you’ll be a happier camper than those who did not properly hydrate. It’s also good to note that proper hydration must be done before the game as you will not be able to bring any liquids into the game with you. Your bag will be checked and it’s really rather embarrassing when you have to step out of line to dump out your water bottle - even if it was just water. Also, all drinks are pretty expensive inside the sanctuary that is Martin Stadium, and as broke college students who still haven’t gotten our financial aid, we really don’t want to pay for that.
2. Get your game face on. At a Cougar football game, your appearance really does matter. Just wearing the t-shirt you got for free at Alive won’t cut it, I’m sorry. However, if you’ve somehow creatively altered this shirt (besides cutting out the sides to show off your chiseled abs) and paired it with a crazy wig, a cape and mountains of crimson and grey face paint that permanently stains your face for a week, you should just make the cut. Many people have whole elaborate costumes dedicated to Cougar football games, often added to with each game and each new giveaway. It is essential that you have every possible inch of your body covered and devoted to all things WSU. Also note that any other colors worn at the game will result in you getting booed and possibly assaulted by flying sodas. You’ve officially been warned.
3. Learn the cheers. While many are learned throughout the game, there are a few Cougar cheers you should be well versed in before stepping out your door. It’s important to learn them in the safety of your own home so that you can practice and work out all the embarrassing mistakes before going public. First, you need to learn the fight song. This is a given. It will be played, sung, cheered and shouted more times than you can count during the game and you don’t want to be the one person who is clapping while the rest of us are fist-pumping. That’s just social suicide right there. Second, keep in mind that, no matter who we’re actually playing, our favorite chant about a certain team of dogs across the state will happen. They are lame. They can’t sit with us. The rest will fall into place once you’re there. Just be sure to bring your keys.
4. Tailgate. There are infinite pre-game BBQs happening all over campus and beyond. Between the parking lot full of trailers and the Food Fair in Hollingbery Fieldhouse, you’re sure to be well-stuffed and properly fueled to take on the game.
5. Stand in line. If you think you’re cool enough to cheer with the biggest Cougar fans, you want to get to the stadium early enough to stand in line with your fellow students. The gates will open two hours before kickoff, but you want to be there long before that to ensure a good view of the field. Standing in line will get you pumped and in the spirit of the game. In line, you can also start the countdown before the clocks do and party with the big cats.
The game does start at 12, so you won’t have much time in the morning to do all the above. But, if you wake up early enough and give yourself plenty of time to complete your quest, you will succeed and you will get wrapped up in the Cougar spirit lifestyle.