Pregaming, drinking synonymous among colleges nationwide

Whether it’s head-to-toe blue and gold body paint, donning favorite jerseys, or partaking in a “power hour,” Marquette and many other schools have unique pregame rituals.

Marquette’s traditions focus on basketball, while other schools around the country have their own customs.

“I’m in the band, and we have our own traditions like … walking over (to the arena) together, which creates a real sense of community,” said Katie Padilla, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Blueman and Goldman, two Marquette “superfans,” have their own routine before men’s basketball games that includes dining at Schroeder Hall, putting on their spandex suits and walking down to the Bradley Center hours before the game to rile up fans. They believe the university should come together for a more organized pregame tailgate.

At fellow Big East and Jesuit school Georgetown University, students describe an “intense” atmosphere on campus where they “work hard and play hard.”

“Georgetown is definitely a drinking school, so people pregame at everything — performances, social events, the library — and certainly for basketball games,” said student Ryan Bellmore.

Jacob Clark, also a student at Georgetown, said the university’s basketball history runs deep, which is evident in the enthusiasm at pep rallies held before games and the size of the Verizon Center venue where the men’s team plays.

“If we win an important game, a large number of people run to the Washington Monument from campus,” Bellmore said. “So that’s another big tradition here.”

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, students said drinking alcohol is an essential pre-game activity, and there are countless other ways fans show their Badger spirit.

However, the excitement for basketball can’t quite compare to the enthusiasm on campus for football games, said Chris Hovel, a UW-Madison student.

“All of the students are crazy as hell,” said Cameron Ontko, also a student at UW-Madison. “Our season just started, but it’s tradition to get drunk, get crazy and yell out chants at any of the games to pump the team up.”

At The Ohio State University, students find that alcohol and their pregaming activities are intertwined, even if students can’t get tickets to the games.

“Being at a huge school, there’s always a lot of people and activities, and we have a lot of different traditions,” said Evan Stanger, a student at Ohio State. “Everyone wears jerseys and does the “OH-IO” cheer in the streets, but usually there’s parties before the game, and a lot of people feel obligated to drink.”

Marquette has developed an inclusive pregaming culture with a variety of options for all types of students.

Matt Williams, a freshman in the College of Business Administration, believes the Marquette culture is unique and is evident in how involved freshmen, such as him, are.

“People get decked out in all of their gold gear, and you hear that a lot of people drink before the games, depending on how much time they have,” Williams said. “Our student section is known for pumping up our players and distracting the other team by any means necessary, and it’s really something that’s worth being a part of.”