In Game

Although some Wildcat fans may disagree, the overall atmosphere at Ryan Field is a very friendly one. Fans will surely get loud on occasions, but most visiting fans will feel welcome when visiting Evanston. Most of the fans are from affluent areas near the stadium and aren’t the wildest crowd in the Big Ten.  This makes Northwestern a perfect place to go to network and bring the family as that is the popular thing to do. Just make sure to wear everything purple you have as most games turn into a purple out by the time all the fans have made their way in.

During kickoffs, Northwestern fans jingle their keys rather than cheer, and the cheerleaders will run the crowd through some very basic chants followed by a loud growl.  For example, when the Cats are trying to finish off a game and run out the clock the cheer squad will get the fans to yell CATS EAT CLOCK followed by the growl.  It is a pretty standard football atmosphere as most fans come out for a great day of football next to the scenic Lake Michigan.

Things to check out

Wildcat Dash

Before the kick-off of the Big Ten opener, Northwestern offers first-year students the chance to lead the team out onto the field as a class. This is a great tradition that every student should take a part in when they get their chance.

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Push Ups

Like a few other schools in college football, Willie the Wildcat and the cheerleaders will do push-ups to match the cumulative score of the game; the unique thing about NU games is that students will sometimes be lifted into the air to do the push-ups while counting out loud the score.

Wildcat Growl/Claw

Northwestern fans hold up their arm in a claw formation while creating as much noise as possible to distract the opponent. The growl is the loudest on the third down and a great tradition to take part in when attending a Northwestern football game.

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Hands in the Air

Before the fourth quarter, join the guest conductor as he/she encourages fans to put their hands up in the air. If nothing else, Northwestern fans will always listen to Mike Ditka telling fans to put their hands in the air!

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Fight Songs

  1. Northwestern Fight Song

    Go U Northwestern, Break right through that line,
    With our colors flying, we will cheer you all the time,
    U Rah, Rah,
    Go U Northwestern, fight for victory
    Spread far the fame of our fair name,
    Go Northwestern, win that game.
    Go Northwestern, go!
    Go Northwestern, go!
    Hit ’em hard!
    Hit ’em low!
    Go Northwestern, go!
    (Repeat first verse)

  2. Northwestern Alma Mater

    Hail to Alma Mater!
    We will sing thy praise forever;
    All thy sons and daughters
    Pledge thee victory and honor.
    Alma Mater, praise be thine, May thy name forever shine! Hail to Purple! Hail to White! Hail to thee, Northwestern

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