How it all began: History of the Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

How it all began: History of the Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic

By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - For 75 years Columbus has played host to the annual Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic and this year will be no different.

Classic chair and Morehouse Alum Howard Willis says it's something he looked forward to, way before college.

"I grew up watching this even as a child in Waverly Hall, Georgia with aspirations of wanting to go to Morehouse College," Willis said.

Willis has been involved with the planning process of the classic for more than 15 years.  He says that the game was originally set for Columbus because it's a perfect halfway point between the two schools, Tuskegee in Alabama and Morehouse in Atlanta.

Dubbed the "Granddaddy" of football classics in the Chattahoochee Valley, the game brings thousands to the area.

"Our Crowds for tail gating has been estimated as much as 40,000 that is a huge economic boom for this community," Willis said.

Willis says the city of Columbus is expected to make over a million dollars from the classic. He says with popularity of the event growing, he isn't quite sure what the future will be for the Tuskegee-Morehouse classic in Columbus.

"We may not be able to hold on to this classic, especially when I have to compete amongst RFK stadium in Washington, D.C. and with Los Angeles, California," Willis said.

Willis says finding the right sponsors to take on the classic is a challenge itself, but he says it's all worth it because the money raised from some the classic events goes towards a good cause.

"It's all about putting Columbus, Georgia in a show and using those benefits to help historically black institutions in our region," Willis said.

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