It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway), this annual college football game will forever be marred by last year’s hazing death of Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion. And we can only imagine that fans will be well aware of the effect of the tragedy during this year’s weekend-long festivities surrounding Saturday night’s matchup of two historically black universities’ football teams, the Florida A&M Rattlers and Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Yes, you can still expect the sprawling tailgating parties, the lively pep rallies and even the pre-game Battle of the Bands showdown at Amway Center on Friday night. But with the suspension of the Rattlers Marching 100, the game’s renowned halftime show will form a different shape. And if for just this year, the two football teams’ performances will take centerfield. – Aimee Vitek
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