[ball]There is only one thing that will get a college student up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning – the sights, sounds, and smells of football. It’s the range of SUVs and trailers piling into Spartan territory, the recognizable tune of ESPN’s College Game Day on portable televisions, and the mouth-watering aroma of hot dogs on helmet-shaped grills across campus. The arrival of football season comes every fall in full force, and this year is no different.
Coupled with every great college campus is great college tradition. Big Ten football, from the Big House to our house, has support from students, staff and alumni; But one group proves its dedication above the rest. MSU has its own way of firing up the crowds, pumping up the players and selling every seat in the house: the chanting, singing and yells of excitement that is Corner Blitz.
Corner Blitz, arguably the loudest student organization on campus – that is, until its counterpart, the Izzone, begins the winter season – is now in its fourth season of football spirit. In its largest season ever, with membership nearly twice as large as 2005, the 3,100 students unite each Saturday to cheer on the Spartans. The passionate sea of white tees seems to draw energy from the sun gods as their relentless demand for touchdowns and key plays brings the heat of competition to a high. Their spirit echoes throughout the 75,000-seat stadium and brings pre-game entertainment to eager fans as they listen to the chants of “GO GREEN, GO WHITE!”
[blitz] The effort to fuse commitment and pride this great happens far from the deafening stadium. Kinesiology senior Dave Krause, secondary education and earth science junior Emily Davidson, and math and physics junior Andrew DeGroot have turned their hobby as loyal fans of Spartan football into a full-time, non-paying job, as Corner Blitz directors through the Student Alumni Foundation. To ensure each season starts smoothly, they begin planning in April for the upcoming year. Advertisements, handouts and thousands of fliers are designed, copied, and printed every spring to get the word out and recruit new members, while maintaining the loyalty of current super-fans. Many MSU students spent this past summer traveling, working, or just lounging by the pool, but Krause, Davidson and DeGroot totaled about 80 hours a week combined, collecting ticket orders, authorizing print designs for T-shirts, and working the Academic Orientation Program to inform incoming freshmen and planning this year’s road trip to Northwestern University.
Although their roles as Corner Blitz directors sound daunting, they are not alone. The 60-member Corner Blitz student committee helps manage the section of rowdy students and keeps stress to a minimum and effectiveness to a maximum: thousands of packets containing the official T-shirt, Student Alumni Foundation membership card and flier for 2006 were stuffed in less than two hours.
“I joined the Corner Blitz committee because I love Michigan State athletics and I was looking for a group where I could meet new people with the same interests as me,” journalism freshman Jennifer Orlando said. “As a freshman, this seemed like a very fun organization to get involved in because they were open to new ideas and seemed passionate about what they do.”
Running the show takes more than just stuffing packets; eight committee members are chosen each game to arrive two hours early to complete much of the grunt work, including setting up and passing out newsletters, pom-poms, towels and other goodies.
“I love being a member of the Corner Blitz committee because we actively display everything that we work for,” psychology junior Christopher Scovone said. “I thought that watching the football games as a student was the most fun I had in my first year at Michigan State, but actually helping to create that environment has been better.”
And it’s paid off, because the Corner Blitz brings satisfaction to its students during every home game. “I get a rush of pride screaming as the team runs onto the field,” said Kevin Neill, accounting sophomore and Corner Blitz member. “I feel like I’m a part of something that actually helps the team win.”
Even though students like Neill don’t literally help the team win, the role of the Corner Blitz is extremely important to the dynamics of the team. If they have an entire student section cheering them on, it makes it a lot easier to perform better.
In 2001, the idea for Corner Blitz – to create a unique student section for the most devoted, steadfast group of fans – was initially explored. The section was dubbed Bobby’s World, in honor of previous head coach Bobby Williams. Although the shirts used to be green instead of the eye-catching white, the passion for the game is what links the past and present sections, Davidson said.
It is hard to imagine a football game without the crazy costume-wearing fans, the students who sacrifice their bodies to the will of green and white paint, and the thousands of tiny pom-poms twirling in anticipation of kick-off. After months of work and hours spent hiding away in the SAF office in the Union, the directors get some sweet perks. “Free football tickets were a real bonus for this year because they are never guaranteed with the job,” DeGroot said.
Davidson’s real joy comes from walking into the stadium ten minutes after kick-off, after she has passed out all the freebies for the game.
She stands at the section entrance, looking up into the crowds of Spartan allegiance, and feels good about the sea of white. She said, \”It is the pride of looking back and knowing you organized 3,100 people and they look fantastic.\”

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