The fifth game on my cross-country college football journey brought me to Central Michigan University. I met up with a couple of buddies and we made our way up to Mount Pleasant, home of the Central Michigan University Chippewas. This was the second MAC Conference game I attended on this journey and I, again, came away totally impressed with the experience. Upon arrival in Mt. Pleasant, we were immediately and pleasantly surprised as we paid a whooping $5 to park across the street from the stadium. The stadium is a beautiful 30,000 seat venue, where every seat is a good seat. Tickets, food and drinks were all very reasonably priced.
THE HISTORY OF THE CHIPPEWAS The Central Michigan Chippewas began playing football back in 1896 and have won 15 Conference titles and the Division II National Championship in 1974 before joining the MAC Conference in 1975. The Chippewas have produced many players that have gone on to play in both the NFL and CFL. Fans I spoke to continually talked about record-setting QB Dan LeFevour and WR Antonio Brown, both of which played there a few years ago. LeFevour holds six school passing records and plays for the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Canadian Football League, while Antonio Brown is a top receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
TRADITION Since joining the MAC, the Chippewas have developed strong rivalries with both Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan Universities. Western and Central play for what’s called the “Canon Trophy”. The three state schools also compete for whats called the ” Michigan MAC Trophy”. The past 12 season have also seen the Chippewas develop a strong rivalry with Michigan State. The band, which is known as the “Marching Chippewas,” performs before the game and again during halftime and may be the best college band you’ve never heard of.
THE GAME Navy freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds made his first career start, tossing three touchdown passes and leading the Midshipmen to a 31-13 victory. Navy jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on their first possession, and led 17-3, before Chippewas QB Ryan Radcliff hit Titus Davis with a 29-yard scoring toss with 56 seconds left in the half, making the score 17-10. In the second half, Navy came out and dominated and never looked back, cruising to the 31-13 win! All in all, the three of us had a great time in Mt. Pleasant, but because we didn’t find it, were left wondering where is the “Mountain” in Mt. Pleasant?