KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Even thousands of miles away from the action in Dallas, WMU fans were rooting on their Broncos, Row the Boat style.
Despite a disappointing loss when the dust settled, the Western Michigan football faithful stayed until the bitter end at the State Theatre in downtown Kalamazoo, where 800-plus people turned out to watch the historic Cotton Bowl matchup against the eighth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers.
You would have been hard pressed to find a disappointed Bronco though, after what was a season full of excitement and firsts for the small but powerful program.
“You can’t win every game, and we lost one,” said one fan. “Whatever falls in place for next year is what next year will bring. So hopefully it brings more than what we did this year.”
The high likelihood of the return of head coach P.J. Fleck is garnering some excitement in the wake of the loss too. In just his short tenure with Western, he’s taken them from perennial doormats, to front and center on one of college football’s biggest stages.
“I was there to see the 1-11 year,” said another fan, “and to honestly…to see where they are now, it’s honestly just an honor to be at the Cotton Bowl.”