Honor them with remembrance Friday, celebration Saturday


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What do you get when you have a 9-0, No. 21 ranked Thundering Herd football team, plus a conference championship stealing team coming into the Joan and the anniversary of a plane crash that took the lives of many and changed a town and school forever?

Hopefully it’s a jam-packed Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

If it’s not enough we play Rice University, the team that stole the championship out from Huntington, and then gave us our one loss on the season, it is also the anniversary of the fatal plane crash.

The week leading up to the ceremony is always a strange one on Marshall’s campus. Anytime you look at the fountain, you remember you only have a few more days to sit on the plaza and hear the water falling. It’s solemn, a little quieter.

That shouldn’t stop us from being loud Saturday, however.

It’s one of the most moving moments in the movie.

Matthew McConaughey, as Jack Lengyel, leans over behind Matthew Fox as Red Dawson and says:

“One day, not today, not tomorrow, not this season, probably not next season either but one day, you and I are going to wake up and suddenly we’re going to be like every other team in every other sport where winning is everything and nothing else matters. And when that day comes, well that’s, that’s when we’ll honor them.”

We made it there a while ago – where winning means everything – but we still are not like every other team. Unlike other teams, we have something to fight for, someone to fight for. Seventy-five someones.

We honor them Friday with a ceremony. We honor them Saturday by filling the stadium and chanting, “We are…Marshall.”

Show Conference USA what it missed out on when they took the championship game to Houston. If you don’t come to the game to support Rakeem Cato, Devon Johnson and the rest of the Thundering Herd, do it to honor those who didn’t get to play again. Do it for the fans who didn’t see another game. Do it for Lengyel and Dawson and the Young Thundering Herd.

It’s Monday.