Morehouse, Howard Revive Historic Gridiron Rivalry

The Root DC: After almost 15 years, the two HBCUs take it to the field to restore a historic rivalry.

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The Washington Post/The Root DC

The Howard University Bison and the Morehouse Maroon Tigers are preparing to fight it out on the field as hordes of enthusiastic fans, supporters and alumni descend on the nation's capital this weekend. It has been more than 15 years since the prestigious HBCUs last sparred on the turf, much too long for eager fans awaiting a rekindling of the decades-long, historic rivalry between the two universities.

Football classics have long been a staple among HBCUs, from Louisiana's famed Bayou Classic to Dallas' State Fair Classic, and these yearly HBCU rivalry games bring in droves of spectators and ardent football fans, often much larger than the teams' typical crowds. This weekend's AT&T Nation's Football Classic is expected to be no different, with at least 10,000 people forecast to attend, according to The Root DC.

And the rivalry between the Red & Blue and the Maroon goes beyond the field.

"The thing about this rivalry is that Howard can talk smack right back at us," said Joe Carlos, 36, who initially attended Howard but graduated from Morehouse, where he is now an assistant director of admissions. "We can go tit for tat, because there have been so many prestigious alumni who have gone to both schools. But when we say Martin Luther King Jr. graduated from Morehouse that usually shuts the conversation right down."

Whether the Bison take home the trophy or "the House" scores the winning touchdown, this weekend's classic will be a high-energy event filled with school pride, parties and, oh yes, some gridiron competition.

Read more at our local website The Root DC.

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