Unique Fall Football Traditions
As we leave behind summer fun and head back to school, we have an entire new set of fun activities to enjoy. Fall means football, and all across the country people have different ways to celebrate their pride for the teams they follow. Here are some of the most unique fall football traditions held across the nation.
Even if you're not a college football fan, homecoming is a tradition fueled by the enthusiasm of students and die-hard alumni. Where the idea of homecoming started is debatable, but it's largely thought to originated with the University of Missouri. The football team has a long-standing rivalry with the University of Kansas. When the teams were to face-off for the first time on Mizzou's campus in 1911, the athletic director invited alumni to come home to cheer for the team. To boost spirits, a variety of celebrations, luncheons and dedications were held across the campus and later evolved to include parades and bonfires, traditions many colleges and high schools have adopted.
A mascot is defined as a symbol adopted by a group to bring good luck. Most sports teams have a mascot but they're particularly important in college football culture. Some have obvious roots. The Ohio State University's mascot is Brutus Buckeye because buckeye trees are prolific in Ohio. While the buckeye tree is lovely and you can find Brutus on tote bags, T-shirts and fashion jewelry, other mascots have a more involved history. For instance, Auburn University's War Eagle became one of several mascots when a Civil War vet brought an eagle he rescued on a battlefield to a football game. According to legend, the eagle took flight during the game that ended in victory for Auburn. From that point forward, the War Eagle took a spot next to the Tiger as a good luck charm.
At Ole Miss, fans dress in their Sunday best to tailgate at The Grove. Tailgaters are so serious about their spots, a rule had to be made and enforced by campus police that no one is allowed to claim a spot for their chairs and fan garden flags before 9pm the night before game day. Players enjoy The Grove as well. Two hours before each home game, the football players "walk The Grove" to greet fans. It's been a tradition for the past 30 years. Though it's hard to beat southern tailgating, the University of Wisconsin tailgates can certainly rival schools of the south. From the time they wake up until long after the game has ended, dedicated fans in Madison, Wisconsin celebrate with beer, brats and chanting all in the name of school spirit.
Trumpets, flutes and tubas are certainly the sounds of fall and marching bands are one of the elements that set college football games apart from professional football. The marching band was originally a military tradition that made its way onto college campuses through ROTC programs. It was the band director at Purdue University who made the first football field formation after seeing a flock of geese making a "v" in the sky. The idea was borrowed by marching bands across the country and evolved into halftime shows.
A favorite football tradition is a showdown between two rivalries. Almost every team has an archrival, but there's no rivalry as fierce as the one between University of Michigan and Ohio State. It has a long and deep history that started primarily because of a border war between Michigan and Ohio. The tension between the two states spilled onto the football field starting in 1897. To date, Michigan leads the series record at 58-47.
At the University of Georgia, every football game starts with the Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation (the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic). Fans stand and take off their hats while a lone trumpeter plays the first seven notes, the rest of the band joins in to finish the song alongside a narrated video that highlights the team's history.
Alabama football fans chant "Roll Tide" during games for the Crimson Tide, which is a phrase fans tacked onto the Alabama Fight Song. Along with the fight song, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" is played at every game and fans insert "Roll Tide" half-way through the song.
LTD Commodities has products and ideas to honor just about every tradition at any season! Whether you're putting together the ultimate tailgate for your homecoming football game or planning your family's customary Christmas dinner, shop LTD for great products at unbeatable prices.