There was a press conference earlier today at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. This is the fifth installment of the event and the first time in which Howard’s opponent will change. AT&T and Events DC have partnered again to run the event, this year’s event will take place on September 18, 2015 at 7 pm. The new opponent brings an added dimension to the contest, it’s more of a rivalry on the field as Hampton will be facing Howard in this year’s Nation’s Football Classic.
Hampton and Howard first met on the gridiron back in 1908, a great phrase was coined for when the two teams meet. ‘Battle for the Real HU’ These two teams have faced eachother man times over the years in Conference play, but none on as big a stage as this. Hampton will get a chance to play in an NFL type venue, which can’t be taken for granted.
Who’s the real HU? That’s the theme this year as both Hampton and Howard are referred to by that moniker. Erik Moses, senior vice president of Events DC provided an additional nugget to this year’s promotion of the event. Former Alumnis Antoine Bathea and Justin Durant will be engaging in a bit of trash talk via social media leading up to the game. Definitely a treat for fans, Hampton’s involvement should also bolster the attendance. Hampton’s not nearly as far from DC as Atlanta is, meaning more of the visiting team’s fan base will be present.
Hampton Alumni and current radio personality on Majic 1o2.3 has been involved with the Classic in some shape, fashion, or form since the beginning. He downplayed his role in Hampton becoming the opponent for Howard this year, but did say that he recommended it. ‘I think it just makes sense, you have a lot of graduates from Howard and Hampton in DC’ He also shared his thoughts on how the crowd would change with Hampton not having to travel as far, ” I think it’s going to pop. It’s going to be popping definitely. Again, alumni from Hampton here in DC and Howard here in DC. The whole student body from Hampton is definitely going to come out too.”
Howard’s Aquanius Freeman will be playing in his fourth and final Classic this year as he’s now a redshirt senior. “It’s even more exciting because we’re playing our rivals, HU versus HU, that’s how I see it. I’m forever grateful for being able to play in the Nation’s Classic, upholding the tradition and being able to represent HBCU’s all across America.” He also commented on the bragging rights part of the matchup, It lasts for one year, from the day of the game to the following year. So you have bragging rights for one full year.” Which means one of these institutions gets to say that they are the real and only ‘HU’ for an entire calendar year.
It’s Hampton’s first time participating in this event, Junior wideout Twarn Mixon is looking forward to the opportunity of playing in the Classic and in RFK. ” It’s a great experience, I never got a chance to play in a stadium this big. It’d be an experience, especially for me wanting to go to the next level.” Mixon also shared his thoughts on earning those ever so important bragging rights. “I haven’t beat Howard since I’ve been at Hampton, so they always get us by one point. It’d mean a lot to take those bragging rights back to Hampton University.”
As the months go by, there will certainly be more content published on this game. Especially with Bethea and Durant starting their summer long trash talk on social media, come September we’ll get to find out who’s the ‘Real HU’.
Tickets for the game are now available. There’s currently a special on seats in the lower-bowl in RFK, the price is just $15 dollars from now until the end of May. For additional seating information, visit NationsFootballClassic.com