To help you and me get through the drudgery of August, I will present in this space a daily scoop of MSU football-ness, as inspired by a certain ice cream chain. August has 31 days, so I'll let you work it out from there. Here is today's (final) flavor.
And so this month-long series comes to an end, and what more appropriate way to end it than with the walk MSU's players take through a sea of fans and into Davis Wade Stadium. The Dawg Walk, as it's known, is a pregame ritual similar to what most other schools do on game days.
Tomorrow, the MSU players will file off the buses in their Saturday finest, sharp-looking ensembles offset by those ubiquitous headphones stuck to their ears or draped around their necks. They will turn the corner at Stone Boulevard and Creelman Street, and the walk truly begins on a brick sidewalk that leads directly to the south end of the stadium. An elevated statue of Bully guards the throat of the sidewalk, and the players will part on either side of it like water around a rock.
Each side of the walk will be lined with maroon-and-white-clad fans – whooping, calling out players by names, reaching for a handshake from Dan Mullen, and of course, ringing cowbells. Just ahead of the players, the stadium juts sharply into the sky as it awaits their arrival and the culmination of all this building excitement.
I have walked the route once, a couple of years ago. It was prior to the season opener against Memphis, and I arrived a few minutes ahead of the team. The sidewalk was already thickly lined by fans, some of whom were strolling along or across the sidewalk, going to or from one of the many tailgate tents dotting The Junction.
If you care to watch the video (which is perhaps a bit tedious), CLICK HERE. That barely gives you a sense of what it's like; what it must be like for the players and coaches I can only imagine. Noisy, yes, but the Dawg Walk is the fans' way of welcoming the Bulldogs to another game day, and in tomorrow's case, another season.
The Dawg Walk is the first true reminder for MSU fans that September has been reawakened. Let's play ball.