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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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College sports atmospheres are out of this world

Ranking popular colleges’ sports culture

People go to college for many reasons — to become independent, to learn or even just to get away from their parents. Whatever the reason, many consider the sports culture in the college selection process. Every college has a sports culture that is unique to them, whether it’s a devoted fanbase, interesting traditions or over a century of competition.

I’ll be ranking five college sports cultures, starting off at number five with Macalester. The NCAA division three school has a fairly tame sports culture with small fan bases and little attention. They offer many sports with some success. Their conference is smaller colleges in Minnesota that are liberal arts schools hoping to lower the level of competition, but every game is a rivalry game, leading to anticipated matchups every time. It may not be a Big 10 school with thousands of fans at games, but they find their own way to stand out. Macalester soccer fans are known for their interesting cheers at games where fans will yell random sayings with little meaning. 

At number four, it’s close, but I have to go with the University of Minnesota. The Golden Gophers have a committed and incredible fanbase that is near the top of college sports. Generally, their sports teams aren’t in the top tier except for their hockey team, who has finished top four in men’s college hockey in the last two seasons. The Gophers are known for their chant Ski-U-Mah which nobody really understands, but everyone enjoys yelling it. The culture is always electric, and for those looking for a solid culture, the University of Minnesota is a great fit. 

Coming in at number three is the University of Iowa. The Hawkeyes are known for being near the top tier for competitiveness in the sports they offer. Their women’s basketball team set the record for the highest attendance ever at a women’s basketball game with over 55,000 people. Holding that record shows their incredible sports culture and how engaged their fans are. Although the “Hawkeye wave” may not be the most exhilarating tradition in college football, it may be the most meaningful. At the end of every first quarter at their stadium, all the fans wave to the children’s hospital right next to the stadium. The children know when it’s happening and it’s easy to see them waving back, and in person it’s truly heartwarming. For those looking for a tight knit but extremely passionate fan base, Iowa is for you. 

Clocking in as the runner up on this list, just barely missing out on the top spot, is the University of Michigan. The Wolverines are nationally viewed as having one of the best overall sports programs in the country. They ranked number 1 in average attendance for home football games at a whopping 110,246 people at the Big House. Michigan has also been one of the oldest college programs, starting competition in 1865. They are also a part of possibly the biggest rivalry in all of sports, which is when their football team faces off with the Ohio State Buckeyes in a high octane match with emotions through the roof. If you value a high powered sports culture and want to be a part of one of the most energetic fan bases in the country, you will fit right in at Michigan. 

Taking the top spot in these rankings is the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Badgers are known for having an extremely spirited sports culture of die-hard supporters that get riled up for anything. They are known for having strong support for nearly all of their sports, and for having a very large fanbase on the whole. One of their most popular traditions, known nationally, is playing the song “Jump Around” by House of Pain before the fourth quarter of each football game. What seems like a normal civilized tradition of fun songs to engage their fans is actually a long tradition of the opening notes, leading to a frenzy in the stands for a rush of motivation for the Badgers. Anyone looking for a thrilling culture with many popular sports would enjoy Wisconsin-Madison.

Sports culture at college is a big part of what makes college special. All of these colleges have their own culture that is unique to them. The best part about sports at colleges is you can join in the culture and traditions that make the college special. 

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About the Contributor
Ryan Steinberg, Echo Staffer
Hi, I’m Ryan. I’m a junior and this is my first year on echo. I’m excited to be a part of this group. In my free time I like to play ultimate and hanging out with my friends. I also  play soccer and ultimate for the school.  

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