FC Cincinnati had a monstrous win Wednesday night inside Nippert Stadium against MLS Chicago Fire. A huge win for the club and their second win in a row over an MLS squad. Over 32k fans were in attendance as well, a really really big crowd especially for a USL team. So where does that game and crowd rank in Cincinnati history?
One prominent Cincinnati media personality said this was the biggest party in Nippert history. That’s simply not factual, it’s up there for sure but it wasn’t the biggest. A writer said she thought she’d never see Nippert Stadium full. That’s some blatant disrespect to everything Cincinnati football has done over the last decade. Even a 4-8 season last year garnered a higher average attendance than the highest FC game. Just stating some facts, don’t kill the messenger.
Top 5 Biggest Parties In Nippert History In No Particular Order
*Full disclosure I’ve attended every Bearcats home game since 2008, the bias is real.
2008 Cincinnati v. Pittsburgh
A rivalry game with a berth to the Orange Bowl on the line for the Bearcats. A then record 35,098 fans were in attendance to watch the Bearcats win the River City Rivalry and storm the field to celebrate what we knew was our first BCS game berth. In terms of the atmosphere it was electric. Everyone was loud, there was no room in the stadium, people were throwing oranges on the field. Absolute insanity and a moment no one there will ever forget.
2009 Cincinnati v. West Virginia
One of the most insane games I’ve ever been to. The student section in 2008 and 2009 was RUTHLESS. West Virginia fans were sitting in the second deck above the student section which was a bad idea. A kid with Hulk Hands on targeted this one woman and said “you are by far the uglies woman I’ve ever seen.” Her husband, a big son of a bitch wearing camouflage coveralls and had a head the size of Rottweiler. He came down to the section but thankfully security intervened. Everyone was so into that game though, a close game that the fans definitely felt like they contributed to. Miss those WVU games
2013 Cincinnati v. Louisville
The last Keg of Nails game and it happened at Nippert. The Bearcats lost but that atmosphere was almost unmatched. It felt like 2008/2009 again when everyone wore black and had a ridiculous amount of confidence. Teddy Bridgewater taunted the student section during warmups and everyone got hyped. One of those games where everyone was living and dying on every play.
2016 Cincinnati. v. Houston
In front of 40,015 fans the Bearcats went toe to toe with #6 Houston for the first three quarters. That 4th quarter though was one to forget. Perhaps the worst quarter of football in Cincinnati history. The atmosphere was electric, everyone was so into the game and it felt like the old days. Black out, everyone hyped and confident. That’s going to be Nippert this season.
2009 Cincinnati v. UConn
Besides being an absolutely ridiculous game that ended 47-45 and saw UConn come storming back. A super entertaining game to watch and one that I snuck into in the third quarter.
You could always add the Rutgers win in 2006 on that list as well. Basically any Bearcats game from 2008-2013 had great atmospheres and then it was hit or miss during the rest of the Tuberville era.
Bearcats games just feel more fun. The action is better, the stadium is louder and for me I actually care. FCC fans are mildly loud, on ESPN during the Chicago game the announcers mentioned how quite the crowd was multiple times. That’s not a great look and the problem is The Bailey is loud but that’s only 1,700 people in a 30,000 person crowd. The rest of the stadium needs to get into the chants. Bearcats games are fun because the student section is way bigger than the bailey and fans outside of the section get in on the chants too which makes the stadium louder.
When I was at the Crew game two weeks ago I was shocked how quiet it was. Really expected a more raucous atmosphere. Wednesday’s game against the fire seemed fun, but it wasn’t a Top 5 game in Nippert history. That stadium has been hosting bigger parties for many years before this. Again if the bailey could get the rest of the stadium into their chants it’d be better.
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