When the Hens Go Marching In

Pure euphoria. That was the feeling many University of Delaware students experienced as quarterback Trent Hurley dove into the end zone to complete the Blue Hens comeback against Colgate University on September 13th. The student section went wild, screaming for the last 40 seconds as the Blue Hens held on. Leading the cheering throughout the entire game was an enthusiastic group of students called the "Cockpit Crazies."

It is important for every sports team to have fans. Fans play a key role in supporting their team and keeping them going. The Seattle Seahawks have The 12th Man, the Pittsburgh Steelers have Steeler Nation, Penn State has Nittanyville, and the University of Delaware has the Cockpit Crazies.

The Cockpit Crazies are a group of students that paint up for every UD home football game. The group was revived last year and continued into this year stronger than ever. Every Saturday, the Crazies can be seen tailgating before the game, rain or shine. Then about a half hour before the game, the paint goes on and the insanity comes out. The Crazies stand in a special section in the student section, called the Cockpit, and get a front-row view. Throughout the game, the Crazies can be seen chanting, stomping, rallying the crowd and cheering their team on to victory. Whether the Blue Hens win or lose, the Crazies always join the team in the corner of the end zone, singing the Alma Mater and the Fight Song. The night is not complete until the players slap the hands of the fans, showing that no matter what we are in this together.

Experiencing a football game with the Crazies is a one-of-a-kind experience and almost a college right of passage. All students should experience cheering on their team deep into the fourth quarter in the cool, crisp fall air. There is nothing like it. It is a show of school spirit at its finest. It is a pure moment when students from all walks of life come together over their love of football and Delaware, of course. It is the best way to experience a football game. The adrenaline pulses through your veins. The pride is painted on your face. The crowd roars in your ears. The atmosphere is like none other, and after one game you know there is no better place to be. It is more than just a game.

This is the mission of the Cockpit Crazies: to introduce every student to the intense loyalty and fierce pride that is college football. They have taken on the daunting task of trying to change Delaware tradition and make the student section a force to be reckoned with. They attend every game, rain or shine, hot or cold, and support their team. They go through the same emotions as the team on the field: pure joy with a win, and utter disappointment in a loss.

It is the type of camaraderie that every student seeks when they head off to college.

It is a place where every student belongs because it is a place where every student bleeds blue and gold.

It is place where every student is proud to be a Blue Hen, where students live and die by school pride.

It is a place where insanity lives and memories are made.

I can tell you that any time spent with the Cockpit Crazies is unforgettable. I am proud to be a Cockpit Crazy, and I am proud to paint my face with school pride and cheer the Blue Hens on to victory. I don't know if I'm addicted to the excitement, or if it's the sound of the stands, or the glare of the lights. But I will tell you it is something that you must experience for yourself. I promise you that it will be a moment you will never forget.