A celebration of school and sport

Jemma Wolfe
October 18, 2012
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes



For Mac’s star quarterback Kyle Quinlan, the Oct. 13 football game against Windsor was something special.

“Homecoming is a pretty unique time because it allows us current players to connect with former Marauders who have laid the groundwork for this program. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate the success of our collective efforts,” Quinlan said.

For former McMaster Marauder running back John Hartnett – now an MBA candidate at the DeGroote School of Business – the weekend was an important opportunity to return to the field. Hartnett, who played from 2007 to 2010, is nostalgic about times past.

“Homecoming is a great opportunity to bring alumni together to share memories and to see how far the team has come from when head coach Stefan Ptaszek first took over. When I first started playing for Mac, we had no stadium on campus – we didn’t even have a locker room. Now, we have sold out games in the heart of campus, one of the best facilities around, and a tonne of student support,” he enthused.

Players can take pride in playing for a mixed crowd of students, alumni and people closely associated with the football legacy. But one might expect the average student to feel differently.
The parties that line Sterling Street and the club culture that has developed seem to indicate that Homecoming is more about the drink and less about the football. I, for one, am not a big fan of the sport. I never have been, and I’d confidently wager that I never will be. But whether it’s the free chili luncheon outside DBAC, the chance for maroon-bedecked students to see and be seen or a genuine love of the game, campus is swarmed with people every autumn for the Homecoming game.

Football fans or otherwise, too dedicated (or drunk) to care about the weather on Saturday, stuck out the rainy afternoon to see the Marauders through to their inevitable victory.
I, too, found myself panicked over purchasing Homecoming football game tickets, excitedly awaiting the afternoon of Oct. 13 and clapping and cheering with the rest of the crowd for the entirety of the game. It’s people like me – with no great interest or knowledge of the sport – that fill the stadium year after year.

So perhaps it does come back to football after all, and the celebration of what the Marauders – past and present – have accomplished for McMaster athletics and consequently, community pride.
Perhaps I’ll never grow to love the game. Football isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. What matters is that even those still on the fence about the sport come out year after year to watch the Homecoming game and celebrate everything that McMaster Homecoming means to them.

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