Welcome to Week 2 of 12: What Are Your Favorite College Football Traditions?

6 Sep

Why do we love College Football so darn much?  For a million different reasons, hundreds of which are awesome, inspiring, and sometimes weird traditions in place forever, some since the 1800s.  First, are my favorites, then a list of others, with some help and inspiration from MSN.  I want to know what I missed.

What great traditions does your favorite school have?


As a proud alum of my beloved – and beleaguered – Boston College, I love that, soon after we graduated in 93, the stands started filling with hundreds of Super Fan shirts in bright (awful, but spirited) yellow.  The band plays Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby” (better known as that song from Dirty Dancing) and the crowd sings the refrain.  And “foreva” the fans have yelled “We Ahhhh BC” in our best Boston accents.  #WeAreBC


Spending my high school years in Columbus OH, I became an Ohio State fan.  Of course, we have Horseshoe (or The Shoe), and arguably the biggest rivalry in college football with the annual match up against Michigan, almost always the last regular game of the season.  If the Buckeyes win, the players get a coveted Gold Pants charm, given since 1934, and causing all that controversy in 2011.  Since 1968, OSU players get awarded Buckeye leaves for their helmet for big plays and TBDBITL (the best damn band in the land) has spelled out Script Ohio with the tuba dotting the “I” since the 1930’s.  Of course, the crowd cheers back and forth “O-H” and “I-O” through out the game, and the band plays “Hang On Sloopy,” the official Ohio state rock song, at the start of the 4th quarter.  I didn’t think anything could beat the Buckeye traditions……

……until I moved to Austin and went to my first Longhorns game!  Holy cow!  The stadium of over 100,000 fans is electric the entire game, with so many traditions, everywhere you look.  From Bevo himself, mascot since 1916, to Old Smokey, the cannon that goes off after Texas scores.  Big Bertha, the huge drum, sits at visiting team’s entrance, and marks each point Texas scored.  One side of the stadium yells “Texas” and the other responds with “Fight.”  The crowd sings The Eyes of Texas, holding up their “Hook Em Horns” hand sign, created in 1955.  The Cotton Bowl in Dallas hosts the annual Red River Shootout match up against Oklahoma, on “neutral” ground.  And when Texas wins, the top of the Tower is lit orange.

Some other fun college traditions include:

  • Perhaps my favorite – just because I too love the song – in Wisconsin, since 1998, at the end of the 3rd quarter, Badger fans have jammed to “Jump Around” by House of Pain (1992 hit, smack in the midst of my college glory days)
  • Nebraska Cornhuskers entering Memorial Stadium through the Tunnel Walk, since 1994.
  • Miami Hurricanes taking the field a cloud of smoke, done since the 1950s.
  • West Virginia fans singing Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver before each game since 1972.
  • Since 1954, Texas Tech’s Red Raider team is led onto the field by a Masked Rider on horseback.
  • Arkansas Razorbacks have had a Hog Call since the 1920’s
  • Michigan’s Big House is one of the largest, and loudest stadiums, and a cool want to watch a game, almost sunken below ground level.
  • Penn State does the best white out with more than 110,000 Nittany Lions all in white. (I’d prefer if they were all wearing navy and white stripes)
  • Even though they are the Auburn Tigers, since 1892 and their first meet with Georgia, War Eagle has been their battle cry.
  • Colorado has their live buffalo mascot do his Ralphie Run, circling Folsom Field, at the start of each half, since 1967
  • Texas A&M has done a Midnight Yell with thousands gathered at Kyle Field the night before each home game to cheer on the Aggies.  The first official yell was in 1931 before a game against, who else, the Texas Longhorns.
  • Three schools claim they were the first to have homecoming, Baylor in 1909, Illinois in 1910 and Missouri in 1911.
  • And begrudgingly I have to note Notre Dame with its Touchdown Jesus
  • As a bonus, even though its not college, and not even a real football team, who can’t love the Friday Night Lights players chanting Clear Eyes.  Full Hearts. Can’t Lose. And touching Jason Street’s name on the wall on the way out to play.

So what fun traditions did I miss?  What do you love best about your team’s football games?  (Is it the great stripedshirts in the stands?? I thought so!)  Please share other fun traditions on our stripedshirt Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stripedshirtz  Or email them to me at laura@stripedshirt.com and I’ll add them to this post!

kid college football fans


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