Anticipation for the 81st Tommie-Johnnie rivalry football game at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, builds as students plan their attire and make arrangements to attend the game at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.
“I’m pretty pumped for it,” senior Ashton Johnson said. “I’ve never been to a Tommie-Johnnie game. I didn’t go to the one last year and … freshman and sophomore year I didn’t go either. I’m pretty excited for it, it should be fun.”
Junior Nicole Formico said she is looking forward to a good match-up.
“It will be fun because I have friends that go there and the games between St. John’s and St. Thomas are intense because of the rivalry,” Formico said.
Although the game is just five days away, Director of Campus Life Margaret Cahill said she has not heard much pre-Tommie-Johnnie talk from the student body.
“It’s the second week of school, and so I think because it’s so early we haven’t heard very much,” Cahill said.
Because the Tommie-Johnnie rivalry’s rowdy tendencies cause concern every year, Cahill advised students to think before they act this weekend.
“Make smart decisions before you get in a car, and make smart decisions when you’re up there. Make sure you have a ride up there and a ride home, and that you enjoy it and have fun,” Cahill said. “But really be safe and smart.”
A number of students have already made arrangements for their trip; some opting to make the drive themselves, while others have enlisted buses to accommodate a larger crowd and to provide a safe ride to and from the game.
Junior Alyssa Hewes is one student who opted to ride on a bus.
“I am taking a party bus so I can be with many friends at once and have a good time,” Hewes said.
Freshman John Mayer said he chose to take a bus for the convenience.
“It’s an easy way especially for underclassmen who may not have a car up here to get to the game and have a return ride also,” Mayer said. “And that’s the key thing, is getting back because it’s hectic after the game. You know it’s good to have something concrete and settled so there’s no confusion at the game.”
Junior Laurel Miller said she thought driving to the game was easier.
“I don’t know how else I’d get there,” Miller said.
While some students’ main concerns revolve around how to get to the game, others, like freshman Lindsay Porter, are more focused on their game-day attire.
“We’re going to go all crazy in how we dress and stuff… I’m wearing metallic purple shorts and crazy shoes.”
Another option for students who are looking to sport their Tommie pride are student custom-designed T-shirts to fuel the rivalry.
Johnson said the Tommie-Johnnie shirts have never appealed to her.
“I haven’t really picked one, I don’t think I’m going to get one. I’ve never gotten a Tommie-Johnnie shirt. I think they’re a little offensive,” Johnson said.
Sophomore Alexandra Massart agreed that some of the T-shirts can be offensive.
“There’s definitely a lot that are crossing the line…they are kind of embarrassing for our school to be wearing them, I think,” Massart said.
Although freshman Ryan Joynes said he can see how some people might be offended by some of the shirts, he was also quick to point out that the rivalry comes with the game.
“They’re kind of mean but at the same time…it’s football, it’s a rivalry, it happens.”
Cahill said representing St. Thomas well should be a top priority for students this weekend.
“We know that our Tommies are going to do great up there and we hope to come back with another win, and we hope along with that, we’ve got students that are well representing our university,” Cahill said.
TommieMedia will be have more stories on the Tommie-Johnnie game, T-shirts and history throughout the week.