The Battle for the Bell concluded this past Saturday with another glorious Wabash College victory.  I was at Willie’s Sports Cafe in Covington, KY with my girlfriend, her family, and two Dannies (Depauw University alums).  This was the 118th meeting between the Tigers of Greencastle, IN and the Little Giants of Crawfordsville, IN.  This was also the third time I watched the game at Willie’s.

A few observations:

  • My excitement for this game has not abated over the years.
  • It will always be sunny and warm when I am watching the game at a sports bar indoors.
  • It will always be -37,000 degrees, hailing, with 200 mph winds when I watch the game in person outdoors.
  • I will never get sick of hearing the sound of that bell.
  • The hairstyles of college-aged males disturbs me.
  • HDNet has some weird and awesome commercials.
  • Dannies don’t care about the Monon Bell Game.
  • People who did not attend Wabash College will never “get it” no matter how many ways or times you explain it to them.

I want to expand on these two last points.

  1. Dannies don’t care about the Monon Bell Game.  This is self-evident to any Wabash man.  When Wabash is in possession of the Bell it rings proudly and loudly throughout campus for an entire week before the game.  It gets passed around from fraternity to fraternity throughout the week and rings all day long.  At night it remains in the possession of one of the football players.   When Wabash wins the Bell it is paraded through campus to the delight of everyone who comes in contact with it.  Throughout the year it is proudly displayed in the athletic center.
    During Bell game week freshmen guard campus all night.  People buy tickets as soon as they become available.  On the day of the game people wake up early in anticipation.  The Wabash side of the stands are always full, and remain so throughout the game.  At Depauw the Bell is hidden away when they are in possession of it.  At the game the Depauw side of the stands are never full, despite the fact that their school is 3 times our size.  If they are losing (which they often are)  at halftime most of their fans give up and go home.  I’ve been told by Depauw grads that the game just isn’t that important to them as it is to us.  Fine.  I’ll accept that.
  2. People who did not attend Wabash College will never “get it” no matter how many ways or times you explain it to them.  No one understands Wabash College unless they went there.  Few understand why an 18 year old would decide to go to a small, private, all male, liberal arts school in the middle of the Indiana cornfields.  And I can’t offer a satisfactory explanation.  I just fell in love with the place during my first visit during the summer between my junior and senior year of high school.  I only applied to Wabash.  Wabash is a truly unique place.  I rushed a fraternity before my freshman year actually began.  I frequently socialized with my professors outside the classroom.  I could walk across campus in 5 minutes.  I went to Chapel every Thursday morning despite the fact that I’m not religious.  I know all the words to the school song (and it’s the longest college fight song in the nation).  I lived by one rule (The Gentleman’s Rule).  I walked around the arch.  And a myriad other things only a Wally would do.  My girlfriend still wonders at the fact that the most respected students on campus wear red and white candy cane striped overalls and white beanies.  People give me a rather confused look when I describe Chapel Sing.  In short, Wabash is weird and wonderful.  I am proud to be a Wabash man.

It is the football players who truly deserve all the honors and praise for this past Saturday’s victory.  They did all the work.  It is their victory.  The rest of us all just bask in their reflected glory.  We should remember that.  Congratulations gentlemen.

Ring it loud and long Wabash.

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