OPINION: KentWired’s sports department takes on Toledo’s Glass Bowl Stadium with flair

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Isabella Schreck

Kent State and Toledo fans come to Glass Bowl Stadium to watch the Flashes take on the Rockets. Toledo won the game 52-31.

Sports Department

Saturday, a few reporters from the KentWired sports department took our first field trip together to the University of Toledo vs. Kent State football game at Glass Bowl Stadium.

The drive was about three hours. We did play several rounds of the alphabet car game on the way there and back, which definitely made the time pass by more quickly.

All in all, we had an absolute blast up in T-O-L…E-D-O.

(That is how Toledoians chant the name of their city, we learned.)

Seeing a new stadium, campus and collegiate football environment was a super cool experience. It would’ve been nice to leave with the win, but hey, those Rockets can play some good football.

STUDENT SECTION DOES NOT PASS VIBE CHECK

Walking into the football game against Toledo, I was cautiously optimistic. After scoring three touchdowns before the Rockets even scored one, I was hoping Kent State would secure their first away-game win.

It became very apparent my views were not popular among Toledo student section attendees.

“F*** Kent State,” a Toledo junior named Logan said. “Toledo is making a comeback, easy.”

I thought he was dead wrong. There was no way KSU was going to lose this game, especially considering how little turnout the student section received for the game.

Toledo’s student section filled up during the first half of the Kent State vs. Toledo game Oct. 15 at Glass Bowl Stadium. (Isabella Schreck)

“They’re pretty boring,” Kent State senior Anne Barchick said from Kent State’s fan section. “The student section at Glass Bowl is pretty empty. We’re way louder over here than they are.”

The Rockets student section was minuscule compared to the regular KSU gameday turnout. Toledo’s student section was at most an eighth of the size of Dix Stadium’s normal attendance. And by the end of the game, nearly all of the students were gone.

(Though many KSU students leave after halftime anyways, which is upsetting.)

“The University of Toledo has no big Dix energy,” Barchick said.

By the end of the second quarter of the Toledo vs. Kent State football game, many students had cleared out of Glass Bowl Stadium. The Flashes were winning 31-28 by the end of the half. (Isabella Schreck)

Even so, the Rockets prevailed in the end defeating the Flashes. It was clear that there was something I wasn’t considering: the atmosphere of the rest of the stadium.

“There’s a little more energy,” a Kent State mom said. “The facilities as a whole seem more updated.”

Despite the Kent State loss, she remains confident that KSU is going to pull out a win against Akron Saturday.

“Oh, I’ll be there, and so will my two kids,” she said. “I know we’re gonna win, because that’s a huge rivalry. All of our players will be in the best mindset to compete at their highest levels.”

TOLEDO FASHION WEEK

At the Lot 20 tailgate, which was pretty lacking compared to KSU tailgates, I thought I was in a crowd of Kent State fans.

Everyone was wearing blue and gold. I always thought Kent State was the only school in the entire universe to use those colors, and while I then realized we are not the only school to have those colors, I will say we do it the best.

Upon further research while sitting in the press box, I found that I was completely wrong. Kent State and Toledo do not have the same colors.

While both schools do share the color gold, their blue colors are just so different. Kent State, as described on Google, uses the color “navy blue.” Toledo’s blue is “midnight blue.” See? Completely different.

Toledo wore its midnight blue and gold uniforms to Glass Bowl Stadium Oct. 15. Kent State wore white jersey with gold pants. (Isabella Schreck)

According to Toledo’s school colors history online, the Rockets adopted the (midnight) blue and gold colors in 1919.

Kent’s colors were originally blue and orange, according to Kent State Athletics’ website. The story is that when the basketball team brought their jerseys to the laundromat, the orange turned gold – and it stuck. This was sometime in the late 1910s or early 1920s.

The coaches of either team must have called to coordinate uniforms so their teams didn’t show up wearing the same thing. It would’ve been like showing up to the homecoming dance with the same dress as your arch enemy … awkward.

Kent’s uniforms absolutely did look better. Our Flashes wore white jerseys with goldy-yellow pants. It was a very fun look.

Toledo wore a navy midnight blue jersey with yellowy-gold accents, which was quite basic. Yes, I am aware Kent State has worn jerseys that look almost exactly like that before, but I will look past that.

Question for all collegiate football teams: Have you thought of adding sparkles to your jerseys to truly outshine the competition?

FLASH VS. ROCKY & ROCKSY: ULTIMATE MASCOT BATTLE

Obviously I want to say that Flash was the best mascot, but with his team not playing well, Flash looked a bit sad.

Toledo has two mascots – Rocky the Rocket and Rocksy the Rockette. Both are astronauts – a very unique choice. Before coming to Glass Bowl Stadium, I did look up Toledo’s previous mascots. Out of all of the versions they have had, these astronauts are really their best choice (sadly).

Having a male and female mascot is pretty cool. The Rockets also had almost an equal amount of male and female cheerleaders on the field, which was super exciting to see. Kent State should definitely look to Toledo for inspiration on that.

Toledo cheerleaders hype up their student section at Glass Bowl Stadium Oct. 15. (Isabella Schreck)

That being said, between a golden eagle and an astronaut, the bird is obviously winning that fight. The space people just do not look intimidating. They look more like a children’s superhero than a mascot.

Also, a big discussion in our group was, how do these two mascots know each other? Are they brother and sister? Lovers? Mother and son? Father and daughter? Step-bro and step-sis?

Toledo, we need answers.

Rocksy the Rockette makes her way to the Toledo student section at Glass Bowl Stadium Oct. 15. (Isabella Schreck)

Flash – you still remain the king of Ohio university mascots.

WHERE’S THE GLASS, TOLEDO?

When I saw the stadium was called the Glass Bowl, I expected it to have some cool glass features. But to my surprise, it had more of a castle theme.

Don’t get me wrong, the brick walls appealed to the eye, and I can’t forget the cannon that went off when the Rockets scored a touchdown – we got to hear that cannon sound eight times.

After a quick Google search, I learned that the stadium was named after Toledo’s primary industry: glass.

I mean, the previous stadium for the school down the road was called the Rubber Bowl, so this could be a theme for MAC schools.

But I’m still saying maybe have some glass panels as you walk into the stadium, so it fits the name more and doesn’t look like I’m about to watch a jousting match.

The stadium was unique; it had that older look but was also modernized with the two big screens. I would go back and see the Glass Bowl again. From the Toledo game-day staff’s hospitality to the stadium’s castle elements, it is all worth making another trip.

I can only hope next time I don’t have a ringing in my ear from all the cannon fire I was under.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Maybe we are just biased (though as journalists, we know we shouldn’t be), but Kent State is better.

Toledo, we’ll miss you dearly. Oh, and also, thank you to the Toledo athletic department for that amazing spread in the press box – THAT the Rockets definitely do better than KSU.

James Goddard, Jacob Hansen and James Shondel are reporters. Contact them at [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected], respectively. 

Isabella Schreck is sports editor. Contact her at [email protected]