The Muss Bus 2016: The Ultimate School Spirit Experience

A sea of red pours from the equally red buses as they finally park in front of the Rose Bowl. Functioning as a single being, the mass of Muss Students' walk into enemy territory, heads held high, confident energy palpable to everyone around them. As we pass by a group of UCLA tailgaters a man pulls out his trumpet and proceeds to play the Utah Fight Song as we pass by. As the song ends the mass shouts an overwhelming “GO UTES” turning the heads of anyone who isn’t already giving their full attention to the group. This is the Muss Bus.

Every year, about one hundred muss students' pour into three large buses to travel to an away game. This year the Muss Bus headed to LA to take on the UCLA Bruins. We gathered at the stadium at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday night. By 11:00 the buses were on their way with a 12 hour ride ahead of them.

 At 4 we loaded back onto the buses, all of us thoroughly exhausted and unbelievable happy to have had the hours in the sun during a brief trip to the Santa Monica Pier. LA traffic being how it is, it was unbelievably nice to be on a bus and not have to deal with driving ourselves. When we finally pulled up to the hotel the keys were distributed and we poured into the halls and into our respective rooms. The night was ours. Seeing as Hollywood Boulevard was a mere five minute walk away, Friday night was not wasted. University of Utah students lined the streets, enjoying the street performers, looking at the stars and shopping in the unique shops.

We loaded on the buses at 10 in the morning and headed to UCLA. The bus ride to the stadium is one of the best parts of the whole experience. Music blasting, the energy is high, and as the fight song comes over the speaker system passengers lose it as they stand the best they can and shout the lyrics at one another. After a bit of a ride we finally arrived, all three buses pulling into the stadium.

For anyone who has never been to the Rose Bowl, it is absolutely monstrous in size. Directly adjacent to a golf course, the amount of tail gating taking place was astounding as our big red buses made a lap around the stadium.  It was nice to see the occasional red tent among the sea of blue, even nicer when we came to the U of U tailgating area where our cheer leaders and band awaited. As we filtered into the tailgate a plane made its way over the top of us, pulling behind it a banner that read Go Utes #LightTheU. Finally, the time came to enter the stadium and get the game going. Perhaps the best part was overhearing all the comments of the UCLA fans. “Wow, dedicated fans to come all the way out here.” “What does Muss stand for?” (Mind you they pronounced it 'moose.') “Where the heck did all these U fans come from?”

And the comments were well deserved. The U section was absolutely packed, fans crowding together to form an uninterrupted sea of red shirts and screaming fans. Under the blazing sun, UCLA led the kick off, the ball flying directly into the arms of Corey Butler Bird, who ran the field and directly into the end zone. Touchdown within the first fifteen seconds. The level of noise within the section was deafening, the bleachers struggling under the bouncing bodies of the celebrating Muss. And the game went on, Joe Williams carrying the Utes to victory. The high scoring game kept the Muss on their feet throughout its entirety despite the roasting sun and aggravating calls made by the referee we dubbed “Muscles.”  UCLA did its best to discourage our excitement tuning out our cheering and singing after touchdowns by blasting the speaker systems with pop songs and filming their “dancing” fans, but it only made us cheer louder. By the end of the game the stadium was majority red, UCLA fans filtering out early anticipating another loss. We were exhausted and exalted. As our players ran to their fans we screamed louder than we had the whole game, celebrating in their victory with them.  

Needless to say the majority of us slept on the bus ride back to the hotel. Then we had another night to ourselves to explore the city. At the early hour of 6:00 a.m. we loaded back on the buses and made the endless journey home, another win under our belts.

While I’m no football fanatic, the Muss Bus provides my favorite game of every year. Coming into enemy territory in such a tight herd is not only exciting but empowering. The school spirit never feels higher, and the energy is always overwhelming in the best way. Not only does the Muss Bus provide transportation, hotel, and tickets to the game, it provides the opportunity to explore a new place and meet new people.  At the bargain price of only $250 I encourage any Muss member to consider taking the bus next year and support your team wherever it may take you.