As the leaves begin to reveal a spectacular array of colors in the northeast, athletic teams, marching bands, spirit squads, students, faculty and alumni get ready for one of the best traditions of the school year, Homecoming. Even the word is awesome. You are coming home to your old school with your friends and family, while sharing the tradition and passing it on to a new class.

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Throughout October, local colleges and high schools throughout the Capital Region will be celebrating the century old tradition. When and where did Homecoming start? Well according to the University of Missouri website, they did "Back in 1911, when Chester Brewer invited alumni to "come home" for the Missouri-Kansas football game, he couldn’t have envisioned that the event would become Mizzou’s (and the rest of the country's) biggest annual tradition.

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Rather, Brewer, Mizzou’s football coach and athletic director, was trying to circumvent a problem. Until then, the Missouri-Kansas game had been held in Kansas City, Mo., attracting scores of alumni and generating significant income for both schools. When the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association declared that conference games would have to be played on college campuses, Brewer was concerned about whether alumni would make the trip to Columbia. Thus, his invitation for alumni to “come home” was a call that drew a crowd of 9,000-plus."

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Some will argue on behalf of older rivalry games but Chester Brewer's invitation to "come home" seems to be the the first. Do yourself a favor, if you haven't, go to your Homecoming some day. Tailgate. See some people that you haven't seen in years. You won't be sorry. UAlbany will host Homecoming this Saturday as they face #5 Villanova at 3:30pm at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium. I will be there.

Photo - Bill Ziskin

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