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Saturday, May 28, 2022

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Football frenzy moves to first quarter, adds a video

Last year's "Fourth-Quarter Frenzy," created to encourage University of Richmond students to stay until the end of home football games, has been moved to the first quarter, with one unique addition.

"We know for sure that students will still be there in the first quarter," said Vaughan Moss, director of marketing and sales in the Richmond athletics department. "In the fourth quarter, it may not be as large a number of students in the stands.

"Instead of trying to create ways to make students stay, we're trying to maximize their experience while they are there."

The "Fourth-Quarter Frenzy" is therefore now the "First-Quarter Frenzy." The "frenzy" was organized by the athletics department in association with the Richmond Rowdies, the university's on-campus spirit group.

"It wasn't that it was a failure as far as having it in the fourth quarter," Rowdies president Casey Glick said, "but I think basically we just wanted to get as many people out to games as possible and not necessarily put as much focus on having to stay the whole time."

The frenzy happens as soon as the first quarter ends, Moss said, with a race between two student contestants who ride on tricycles putting on a jersey and helmet before running into the end zone to do a touchdown dance. Food is then thrown into the student section, he said.

All this is sponsored each game by a different on-campus student organization, Moss said, which will also present a prize to a winner of a student raffle during the first timeout of the second quarter. All this commotion occurred during the fourth quarter last year.

"For an organization sponsorship, they're going to be more likely to want to sponsor it if it's in the first quarter," Glick said, "when there are [more] kids there as opposed to less people later in the games.

New to this year is a short video that preludes the race. The video series, called "Don't Mess with WebstUR," is based off of Jack Links Beef Jerky's "Messin' with Sasquatch" commercials, Moss said. The organization sponsoring that game will have some of its members act in the video, he said.

With the Rowdies sponsoring the season's first game against Gardner-Webb University, several members, including Glick, appeared in the series' premiere.

"It was fun," Glick said. "Just kind of anyone who wanted to be in it could come out, and we'd find a role for them."

Each video will begin with students dressed up as fans of the opponent and others as Richmond fans, Moss said, with the opponent's fans making fun of or bullying the Richmond fans, and WebstUR will come to the rescue.

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Moss said he had thought the first video was well received by people that were paying attention, but hoped that future games against bigger opponents including Old Dominion University and James Madison University would trigger a bigger reaction.

Glick likes the idea of getting WebstUR more involved.

"We don't really make a ton of use of WebstUR," he said. "We certainly have him at games and stuff like that, but at other schools, primarily bigger schools, the mascot has a more involved role in representing their school, being a spokesperson almost."

Contact staff writer David Weissman at david.weissman@richmond.edu

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