Muddy Waters Stadium erupted into emphatic chants as Dob Kinz chugged a gallon of chocolate milk in the middle of the field. “Dob! Dob! Dob!” rang out across the stadium following an energetic Mock Rock performance given by the now-notorious Team Dob.
Last week, Team Dob stole the hearts of spectators during Spirit Week events through their energetic participation and eccentric style.
On Monday, the team unveiled a banner that detailed a cybernetic President Larry Arnn protecting Central Hall from hordes of zombies while armed with an energy blaster and downing a jug of chocolate milk.
“Team Dob’s banner didn’t initially put their team on the radar. As the week went on, their participation in Homecoming slowly gained momentum,” said Homecoming participant and freshman John Ritchy.
After the photo competition, the team gained campus-wide recognition. Their photo of an apocalyptic militia trudging through the wilderness quickly inspired a cult following on social media. Instagram accounts such as @hillsdale_eagle and @hillsdalememes all shared content about the team’s cultural impact on campus.
When Saturday rolled around, the team took Mock Rock by storm. The performance used a mix of popular internet songs, storytelling techniques, props, and various choreography styles to secure a third-place victory.
“Team Dob’s entertaining storyline along with a strong synergy between its teammates ultimately earned its place as a crowd favorite,” said Assistant Dean Aaron “Chief” Rogers, a judge at Mock Rock. “The ‘Not-Good Robot’ was a clever use of a costume to improve the overall performance. In general, I think Team Dob accomplished their mission in bringing so many people together under a charismatic label.”
Dob Kinz, a senior studying biology, is the name behind the team. He is frequently seen around campus with the Ultimate Frisbee Club or playing volleyball at Hayden when the weather is clear. As a self-identified “eccentric,” Dob once ran across campus during a polar vortex in short sleeves and shorts, for which he received an email from Dr. Arnn. Yeah, he was that guy. He also wore a dress to Garden Party and “jorts” to the 2020 SAB Welcome party.
“It’s been a long-running joke in my friend group that I should be Homecoming King, however, that has never been a real option,” Kinz said. “Originally, I thought it would be funny if I started a team with just myself and competed in Spirit Week. However, as time went on, my friends started to join in, and before I knew it, we were a full-fledged team.”
Senior Team Dob member Logan Baer noted that “Dob has a certain gravity to him. He is the type of guy who doesn’t take himself extremely seriously but still is thoughtful of others and understands others’ perceptions. His eccentricity brings people together. Because of his attention to other peoples’ perceptions, we were able to do so well. We organized our Mock Rock to play to the audience of Hillsdale compared to other teams with more sexually provocative dance moves.”
Kinz noted how the team’s Mock Rock performance was a group effort. It combined the different skill sets of the individuals on the team to mix the track, provide choreography, and design costumes.
On the topic of the team’s song choice, Kinz said, “Our first song, ‘Sick of Being Honest,’ connected back to fake horror youtube video memes. Later down the line, when we decided to include ‘Megalovania,’ we knew we had to run with the boss battle idea. The storyline for the rest of the routine just formed naturally,” Kinz said.
Kinz was grateful for the opportunity to participate in this year’s Homecoming and for the team’s competitive position.
“My biggest advice to future teams is to take a step back and not take things as seriously; we are all enjoying Homecoming so let’s make the most of it,” Kinz said.
Team Dob’s success caused a stir on campus. For the first time, a non-affiliated group of students placed above greek houses, dormitories, and the Off-Campus Coalition at Mock Rock.
As Niedfeldt Head RA Colton Duncan wrote in an email, “Spirit Week was no longer just an expression of inter-dorm rivalry. For the first time, students could give their loyalty to a personality rather than to a community,” Duncan said. “I do not know whether the Team Dob phenomenon will continue in future Homecomings. But if it does, we should know that Homecoming will never be the same.”