Pregame Hype Builds for #AmtrakRivalry Train

Nicole & SpartyNicole Hordos just can’t shake her school spirit. Seriously. She’s not only an alumnae of Michigan State University, she’s also the communications manager for the school’s alumni association. Most importantly, though, she’ll be riding on this weekend’s #AmtrakRivalry train in Michigan!

The #AmtrakRivalry train is traveling (full of folks lucky enough to get tix) from Chicago to East Lansing for the big game between in-state rivals Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. We caught up with her before she hopped aboard!

What do you expect the atmosphere on the #AmtrakRivalry train to be like between Chicago and East Lansing?

I think passengers, no matter who they’re rooting for, will be excited to be part of such a unique travel experience. But at the same time they’ll be anxiously awaiting kickoff on Saturday at Spartan Stadium, so they can cheer on their team. I’m hoping passengers will make connections with each other and create new friendships that they’ll take back to the Chicago area with them.

Have you ever ridden an Amtrak train before?
In the past year I have started to use Amtrak regularly. My first trip was in October 2012, and it took me to Chicago for an MSU alumni event. I was able to enjoy a hassle-free travel experience and excellent amenities both to and from Chicago.

What’s the best part about having a rival in the same state?
That you’ll undoubtedly have friends or family who are fans of the opposing team, which can lead to friendly competitions and conversations!

When people ride our trains, there’s often a strong sense of community with fellow travelers. What is the MSU alumni community like?
The MSU alumni community is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll likely run into another Spartan who will want to strike up a conversation with you and talk about what brought you to the area, when you graduated and with what degree. I’ve been in airports and various cities and I’ll hear the familiar “Go Green” from across the way, because someone will notice the MSU apparel I’m wearing. You can even reach out to fellow Spartans when looking to build your professional or personal network and start a relationship based on your shared university connection.

Who’s your favorite MSU player?
Our punter, Mike Sadler. I find it extremely impressive that he graduated with a BS in Engineering in three years, maintaining a 3.9 GPA, and is now pursing his Ph.D in economics and also applying for a Rhodes Scholarship, all while being a fixture for our football team with his 70-yard punts!

Even while excelling both in the classroom and on the football field, his Twitter feed shows that he has quite the sense of humor and doesn’t take things too seriously!

What’s your alma mater and how do you show your school spirit? Let us know in the comments below.

The #AmtrakRivalry train will travel Nov. 1 from Chicago Union Station to East Lansing, Mich., one day before in-state football rivals Michigan State University and the University of Michigan face off in East Lansing. Follow the action and show your own school spirit by using the hashtag #AmtrakRivalry!