Southern Illinois Football Games Bring the Community Together


Taken by Madison Haldeman. Saluki fans cheer for the SIU football team

On Saturday, September 25, 2021, a football game was held at The Southern Illinois University Stadium, bringing the community together by allowing people of different backgrounds to come together to share a common interest: watching football. The Salukis played against the Illinois University Red Birds, and won with a final score of 35 to 17. 

According to the Saluki Football Facebook page, the stadium was, “rocking with 8,618 in attendance.” The bleachers were packed with fans of all different ages and lifestyles. Each fan had their own opinions, religion, and ideas, yet the community still came together to enjoy good food and a fun time watching football.

Kathy Haldeman, secretary for the Carbondale Fire Department and full-time fan of the SIU football team, was recently asked in an interview if she believed Saluki games brought the community together. She responded, “Yes, I think they do. All kinds of people are at one place with a common goal; to watch your team, and hopefully watch them win.”

Even though you may not know the person you’re sitting next to or cheering with, everyone in the stadium has the same desire to watch their team play. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and possibly make new friends.

Taken by Madison Haldeman. Saluki football players marching into the stadium

Without SIU football games, the Carbondale community would be drastically different. We would miss out on, “The sense of team spirit which translates to city spirit, the income for businesses from out of town fans, and the student participation which makes SIU a more attractive university for potential students…” Debbie Nelson, Senior System Counsel for SIU stated. Student activities, including football games and tailgating are very attractive to incoming students. Without these games, Carbondale would lack the opportunity to bring different groups together in a fun way.

SIU football games bring the Carbondale Community together for the better. It serves as an opportunity to meet new people and share a common interest. Not only does it allow for new relationships, but it helps bring in money for the town and attracts new students to the area. In such a diverse world, tailgating and football still allows for the community to come together as one.