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Belt Loops: MACspansion, An Increase In National Exposure

The MAC is gaining popularity across this country. It's about time!

You can find fans of BGSU, and the rest of the MAC, in more than just the midwest now!
You can find fans of BGSU, and the rest of the MAC, in more than just the midwest now!
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

I recently embarked on a two-week, 4,600 mile road trip with my best friend and his 2013 Dodge Challenger. After all was said and done, we had hit 13 states, mostly in the south and southwest, and I learned a few things.

1. West Texas roads are awesome! An 80 mph speed limit and no one around to enforce it - perfect for driving
2. People in New Mexico don't talk with accents (I just always thought they would for some reason)
3. You can get really high in Colorado! We hit 14,100 feet in elevation (what'd you think I was talking about?)
4. There are MAC fans EVERYWHERE

As an NIU fan/alum I have an affinity for finding other NIU fans. It started in New Albany, Indiana, where I saw a huge NIU window cling on the back of an SUV. Then in Nashville, while wearing an NIU hat, a woman in a cowboy boot shop yelled to me "Go Huskies!" and we had a conversation about the Huskies and how much we hate Ohio was nice. In Las Vegas I saw a man and his kids wearing NIU shirts and we shared a brief moment as well. Then, just outside Denver, I met another NIU alumnus.

However, it's not just the Huskies that have fans across America. Driving through Arkansas, I saw a Western Michigan license plate holder - on a car from Arkansas, not just some dude from Michigan on vacation. We meet a Bowling Green fan in Waco, Texas - the heart of Big 12 country! In Utah there was a house with a Ball State flag. There was even an EMU fan in Austin, Texas.

And those are just the ones I can remember. There was a Toledo fan somewhere in there but I'm blanking on the state. During the trip, I told myself I could remember all the MAC sightings...writing this, of course I can't. But still, it was a nice sight to see our conference is growing and growing. Those Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night games might be paying off after all!

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the trip, Kentucky was prettier than I imagined it would be. Nashville was nice...but crowded. Memphis is scary. The whole state of Arkansas seemed to be under construction. Dallas was very nice, but I still can't get behind the Cowboys. Ever.

Austin was awesome. In Roswell, New Mexico the skies were quiet...sadly. Flagstaff, Arizona is really pretty. Las Vegas is always awesome. Driving in Beaver, Utah will turn you into a giggling 5-year old (They have huge signs everywhere that say "I heart Beaver...I mean, c'mon!). Colorado was beautiful. Eastern Colorado and Nebraska smelled - thanks cows. And Iowa was boring as hell...but I think we all expected that.