Unlike most of the previous New York Urban League Whitney M. Young Classic games that were settled well before the final gun sounded, the 40th edition went down to the
wire. Morgan State University jumped off to a 14-point first quarter lead, then held on for dear life to secure a 14-9 victory over arch rival Howard University Saturday at Metlife
The game was played among a festive atmosphere, which included performances by recording artists Chrisette Michelle, Eric Benet, and Fabulous. Morning Radio Show Host Tom Joyner, syndicated in New York City on WRKS Kiss-FM, was on hand to help MC the event as well as announce and give out some of the 20 Whitney M. Young scholarships that have been awarded this year.
The Battled of the Bands lived up to the hype. Howard’s Band played a moving rendition of the Friends of Distinction’s Going in Circles while Morgan State’s Band was accompanied by rap sensation Fabolous.
Even if you were not a big football fan, there were still plenty of things at this event for you to enjoy. There were over 500 vendors at the vendor’s market selling everything from specialty T-shirts to sweet potato pies. WRKS was also out in the parking lot giving away goodies and playing classic R&B hits. Some of the crowd did not even enter the stadium.
They stayed out in the parking lot and tailgated all afternoon and well into the night. Throughout the parking lots there were DJs set up playing all types of music. It seemed as there were hundreds of block parties held throughout the parking lots.
I often refer to the Whitney M. Young Classic as the Northeast Block College Homecoming. This festive atmosphere gives alums and supporters of Historically Black Colleges and Universities an opportunity to share this special day. This event means many things to different people. Some are there for the football game and block party- like atmosphere. Some come only for the Battle of Bands. Then there are the students, who might not know a first down from the first quarter, but need those scholarship dollars to remain in school.
The one thing we know for sure that the Whitney M. Young Classic has something for everybody.