Lots of trash talk, yet the ‘real HU’ rivalry is friendly

By Kayla Johnson

The seats filled up, cheers from the fans bellowed throughout the Convocation Center, and with the sound of the whistle, the game began. The Hampton vs. Howard rivalry resumed.

On Monday, Feb. 9, the Hampton University Pirates took on the Howard University Bison in a quest to determine who is the "real HU."

The Pirates were victorious Monday night and snagged the title of the "Real HU" from the Bison with the men winning in overtime 73-69 and the women winning the first game with a score of 80-61.

Hampton U. Blue Thunder team member Sydnei Fryson, a senior from West Virginia, explained that this is not simply a competition between just the basketball teams; cheerleaders get in on the action too: "We practice a lot harder and pull out the more difficult stunts for this game."

Tradition has been a common theme in the debate about who is the "Real HU." Kayla Monroe, photographer for the campus athletic marketing department said, "You feel like you are a part of the team when you are there supporting them and cheering them on for games like this. Healthy competition between schools, whether it's sports or academics is good. Having competition makes people always want to strive to do and be better."

The Hampton vs. Howard rivalry is not something new. This tradition reaches back to at least the 1980s and lightheartedly divides some households at Hampton, including my own.

When speaking to Donna Johnson, a Howard University graduate from Detroit, she said "School pride fosters the rivalry, and it's good to see both Hampton and Howard students still have such a rich sense of pride.

"As a proud Howard alum, I'm glad you chose the "other HU."

Unlike the Battle of the Bay rivalry that occurs every year between Hampton University and Norfolk State University, the "Real HU" rivalry is noticeably very friendly. When all is said and done both schools support each other and generally have a great time being around the "other HU," a term that is jokingly used to refer to Howard students around Hampton and vice versa at Howard.

In years past, the Hampton and Howard cheerleaders had a choreographed routine that they performed together during a game. In the stands last night, Hampton students could be see socializing and taking pictures with their Howard friends who came to support the Bison.

When asked about the how she felt about the rivalry, Elizabeth Jenkins, a Howard University psychology student from Detroit, said "Our schools wouldn't be the same without it."

"Hampton is a very nice place with respectable students. I have love for the "other HU."

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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