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Inside the Monarchy

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: October 22, 2013
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It’s the one and only time to go cross town for a game, so why not?

Saturday offers an experience. It’s not just a football game, it’s a cross-town showdown.

When Old Dominion’s Monarchs take their act to Dick Price Stadium on the Norfolk State campus this weekend, it will be a bit more than just a football game.

The Monarchs will be rolling into a stadium that was built because Norfolk State grew tired of playing its home games at ODU’s Foreman Field. It wasn’t so long ago that the Spartans would pack up their belongings and bring their show to ODU’s campus five times a year. Throughout much of the 1990s, the Spartans were bringing as many fans to their games at Foreman Field as ODU brings to their home field now.

The Spartans were Division II back then, but they had some talent on those teams. And they were entertaining. And for a good while at least it could be said that at least someone was calling Foreman Field home.

But I digress.

Saturday the Spartans will try to fill their stadium. But fill it with what? Their own fans? Or will ODU show them what a fan base is really about? Dick Price Stadium seats around 30,000, give or take. The Spartans goal is to make ODU’s fans “behold the green and gold.”

So what about the blue? Is ODU’s fan base ready to take the five-mile trip to Dick Price Stadium?

It’s an easy trip. Just roll down Hampton Boulevard to Brambleton Avenue and you are there. Or Ride the Tide.

If ever there was a day to test Norfolk’s new transit system, this may be it. You can pick up the new transit line near Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and ride through the middle of downtown Norfolk to the Norfolk State campus.

Or you can just drive. But here’s a promise: Saturday is supposed to be a glorious football day, with the temperatures in the high 50s and the sun shining. It’s a day to pull out your ODU sweatshirt and show your colors and to let Norfolk State know that Monarchs travel, and travel well.

It’s a road game that’s a home game. A home game that’s a road game.

It’s that close.

In a year when ODU’s athletic department could schedule no more than the six home games at Foreman Field, this is the seventh “home” game for the Monarchs.

Dick Price Stadium and the Spartans fans won’t know what hit them if the Monarchs really put their best foot forward and make the showing they can.

There is strength in numbers. The Spartans aren’t having much of a season so far, and Monarchs fans should go across town ready to see their Monarchs start a new winning streak.

ODU faithful should remember well the showing they put on two years ago when they invaded William and Mary for a home game. Same for a few years ago when they went over to play Hampton University.

The Monarchs need to show people their travel power is real. It’s part of being a legitimate program. It’s a show of strength.

So are you going?

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