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Tradition key to Power Bowl

For 82 years the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons and Concordia College Cobbers have played each other in football.

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For 82 years the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons and Concordia College Cobbers have played each other in football. They do so again today.

That's tradition.

For three years Moorhead Public Service has passed out bobblehead dolls at the Cobber-Dragon games.

That's tradition in the making.

Now MSUM has launched what it hopes will become yet another annual rite.

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The school's new Dragon tailgating area allows participants to watch Dragon home football games from their vehicles next to Alex Nemzek Field.

The cost is $35 for a car with two occupants or $45 for a recreational vehicle with two occupants. Every additional occupant over two must have a ticket or buy a general admission ticket for $8.

Participants can make reservations before any home game or, if space is available, drive up and pay at the gate just before the game.

As of late this week, one vehicle had registered for today's game.

Alfonso Scandrett Jr., who took over as MSUM's athletic director earlier this year, said he's hopeful that a number of vehicles will drive up.

Time is needed for the tailgating area to catch on with fans, he said.

Many people don't know about it yet, especially since football season is just beginning, he said.

Scandrett is optimistic about the tailgating area's chances.

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"I've done this at the other schools I've been, and it's been successful," he said.

Before coming to MSUM, he was athletic director and assistant professor at North Carolina A&T State University and athletic director at Buffalo State College.

For its part, Moorhead Public Service, which began sponsoring the games in 1999, is passing out bobblehead dolls again.

The first 1,000 people through the gates receive bobblehead cheerleader dolls, clad in either a MSUM or Concordia cheerleading outfit.

Two years ago Moorhead Public Service distributed bobblehead quarterback dolls. Last year the dolls featured school mascots, either a red-hued little dragon or a tough-looking ear of corn.

"The dolls have been extremely popular," Jennifer Walz, communications director for Moorhead Public Service.

The organization is thinking about offering bobblehead dolls of coaches or crazed fans next year.

Eventually the dolls' appeal may weaken and the organization might consider switching to another promotion, Walz said.

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But for now, "We're very pleased with the response," she said.

MSUM officials weren't certain Friday afternoon how many tickets had been sold. But they said fans won't have trouble buying tickets today at the stadium, which holds 4,500.

The MSUM-Concordia football series began in 1920. It was put on hold from 1943-1945 because of World War II.

Before it was the Power Bowl, the game was called the Crystal Bowl. American Crystal Sugar sponsored the game for 15 years in the 1980s and 1990s.

Larry Scott, MSUM's sports information director, has watched the Dragons and Cobbers play football for 40 years.

The games are always intense and hard-fought, he said.

They're also "a display of old-fashioned sportsmanship. That's kind of withering around the country, but it's in full bloom in this game," he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530

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