What are the Best Traditions in College Football?

BamaMoon

Hall of Fame
Apr 1, 2004
21,491
17,344
282
Boone, NC
cbi1972 said:
Pains me to say it, but the eagle circling the stadium in Auburn is pretty cool

I had a friend once suggest that we should fly in an elephant in a hot air balloon to land on the field. Could be awe inspiring but can't say I would be comfortable with a 12 ton elephant hovering overhead supported by a wicker basket.
Or a live Elephant...until you watch some youtube vids of elephants losing it in the wild!
 

81usaf92

TideFans Legend
Apr 26, 2008
35,667
32,341
187
South Alabama
Saturday night in Death Valley, Everything with TSIO, and Jump Around at Camp Randall.

Sadly I’m retiring from traveling to away games after the Wisconsin game this year but I will say there are some truly unique ones. I think Alabama has lost many of their unique ones due to the over corporate production that they have gone to these last 8-10 years.
 

81usaf92

TideFans Legend
Apr 26, 2008
35,667
32,341
187
South Alabama
Pregame pageantry , the TAMU band is very impressive with its military marching precision.
I know everyone loves to joke about TAMU’s traditions, but I can honestly say there is not a better script for a Gameday than what TAMU does. I mean seriously every second of the day is planned from the Calvary parading around in the morning to the cadets marching down the streets. There is probably not a more engaged crowd in the country either. They also have the best stadium in the country imo
 

81usaf92

TideFans Legend
Apr 26, 2008
35,667
32,341
187
South Alabama
I’ll add this…. The most overrated tradition is Saturday at the Grove. It’s just a worse and more crowded cramped Quad dressed up in Antebellum decor drenched with the smell of wacky tobacky and all the cheap beer.
 

BamaMoon

Hall of Fame
Apr 1, 2004
21,491
17,344
282
Boone, NC
I know everyone loves to joke about TAMU’s traditions, but I can honestly say there is not a better script for a Gameday than what TAMU does. I mean seriously every second of the day is planned from the Calvary parading around in the morning to the cadets marching down the streets. There is probably not a more engaged crowd in the country either. They also have the best stadium in the country imo
I experienced it, but found it very underwhelming. I mean, they can love it and that's fine, but it's just kinda weird to me. They thing they do before the game when the interlock arms and sway back and forth is the weirdest of all of them IMO (outside of yell leaders - which is another level of strangeness), but it's something I see other schools copying. Just don't get it! I've sat beside too many people in stadiums I don't won't to touch much less hug!

Everything I just said is somewhat influenced by the "cultish" attitude I noticed with TAMA fans. Good - very good - folks, but just on a different level of fandom. They kinda make Auburn fans seem more normal.

Agree on stadium. It's the only one I trade BDS for.


I’ll add this…. The most overrated tradition is Saturday at the Grove. It’s just a worse and more crowded cramped Quad dressed up in Antebellum decor drenched with the smell of wacky tobacky and all the cheap beer.
Everyone should go once and experience it. I got to do it with an Ole Miss fan. A tent with a chandelier is something you don't see every day!!!

But you are correct. It's small and congested.
 

81usaf92

TideFans Legend
Apr 26, 2008
35,667
32,341
187
South Alabama
I experienced it, but found it very underwhelming. I mean, they can love it and that's fine, but it's just kinda weird to me. They thing they do before the game when the interlock arms and sway back and forth is the weirdest of all of them IMO (outside of yell leaders - which is another level of strangeness), but it's something I see other schools copying. Just don't get it! I've sat beside too many people in stadiums I don't won't to touch much less hug!

Everything I just said is somewhat influenced by the "cultish" attitude I noticed with TAMA fans. Good - very good - folks, but just on a different level of fandom. They kinda make Auburn fans seem more normal.
I mean I’m not really talking about the yell leaders here. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t rank it as one of my favorite traditions. I’m talking more about the cadets. The one game i went to (2017) was a night game and I got there like 10 in the morning to experience everything. It’s very much a production getting everyone ready for game time with the cadets riding in on horseback then the cadet band marching. But the yell leaders… are little weird. But the crowd engagement is very cool to see… once. But overall i kinda do prefer more limited engagement such as Wisconsin’s jump around, Florida’s Don’t back down, or LSU’s Louisiana Saturday Night to it more because you can actually follow what they are saying and what they are doing without being a fan.

Yeah it’s cultish but it’s alot more preferable to me than their big brother’s Gameday experience.

How I would rank my years of travel and experiencing the traditions.

1) LSU
2) TAMU
3) Mizzou
4) USCE
5) Kentucky
6) Tennessee
7) Miss ST
8) Texas
9) Auburn
10) Florida
11) Ole Miss

Never made it to Arkansas or Vandy, and refused to go to Georgia. Oklahoma I considered but again im getting out of this type of thing after this year. I would have already but i kinda backed myself into a corner by promising that i would go to the Wisconsin game once it was announced. But after that im done unless i get convinced to go to ND or Ohio St. But I highly doubt it at this point.
 
Last edited:

BamaMoon

Hall of Fame
Apr 1, 2004
21,491
17,344
282
Boone, NC
'81, suprised you never went to BDS north when we played Vandy every other year there for decades.

It was the easiest non-home game ticket to get each year. Every time I've been (several games) Bama had 60-70% of the stadium.

Also surprised Mizzu ranked that high on your list. What did you like there?

I think your list is a good one and this is all subjective, but as much as I hate 'em, I love going to Neyland. The orange hurts your eyes but it's an experience.

I also really enjoyed the 2 games I saw at in Austin. They were both big 12 games against Texas. I think the Eyes of Texas is pretty cool.

I also really enjoyed TAMU, but I just don't get most of the things they love. BTW, I just watched the cadets march in. That's all.
 

81usaf92

TideFans Legend
Apr 26, 2008
35,667
32,341
187
South Alabama
'81, suprised you never went to BDS north when we played Vandy every other year there for decades.

It was the easiest non-home game ticket to get each year. Every time I've been (several games) Bama had 60-70% of the stadium.

Also surprised Mizzu ranked that high on your list. What did you like there?

I think your list is a good one and this is all subjective, but as much as I hate 'em, I love going to Neyland. The orange hurts your eyes but it's an experience.

I also really enjoyed the 2 games I saw at in Austin. They were both big 12 games against Texas. I think the Eyes of Texas is pretty cool.

I also really enjoyed TAMU, but I just don't get most of the things they love. BTW, I just watched the cadets march in. That's all.
Well everytime we play Vandy up there it’s either a hot as crap breakfast game or during a busy week. This year I might but as of right now I’m not because Wisconsin is not going to be a cheap trip.

Mizzou it’s more about the town and old timey kinda feel. It’s kinda a bizarre trip to the past. The old campus look and mountain kinda feel. It’s kinda hard to explain. I mean it’s not a place where I would say you have to go to feel complete as a college football fan but it’s one that you will have a fun time…. As long as it’s not a monsoon like I was in. Also it’s one of the best parking situations I have ever been to. Free parking in a parking deck a stones throw from the stadium.

Tennessee up there… I just love the look. Orange and Red tree leaves in North Alabama and how you are on the River. The Stadium is an absolute dump but so is UT.

Texas… IDK I hated being cramped in the Upper deck during a hot game at 11am. Plus I swear I was on an episode of King of the Hill with the PA announcer.

A lot of my rankings are probably based more about enjoyment of the atmosphere and what expectations I came in with. Ole Miss was just a terrible experience all the way around in 2016 but I know several people who love the trip to oxford.
 

PA Tide Fan

All-American
Dec 11, 2014
4,461
3,097
187
Lancaster, PA
My personal favorite is smoking the cigars after beating Tennessee, but man the Iowa fans and and players waving at the hospital is up there also!
With this being an Alabama football board I'm surprised it took this long for that tradition to be mentioned. Certainly Bama fans had plenty opportunities to enjoy that during the Saban era. I'm a non-smoker so I don't participate but I don't mind watching others enjoy that tradition.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bama197

GrayTide

Hall of Fame
Nov 15, 2005
18,853
6,370
187
Greenbow, Alabama
Some great songs sung by fans in stadiums.

Seven Nation Army at Ohio State games right before kickoff.

Tsunami at the Army - Navy game.

Jump Around at Wisconsin

Sweet Caroline by several schools.

Take Me Home at WVU.
My favorite, B1G is the team gathering after the game in front of the band and singing “Carmen Ohio” with the crowd.
 
  • Heart
Reactions: B1GTide

C2Ag93

BamaNation Citizen
Jul 25, 2021
75
196
52
Howdy Bama... We'll miss playing you this year. I dropped in randomly trying to take my mind off work (been crazy, we're going through another merger). I saw some props and some typical detractions on our traditions, so thought I'd chime in (as if anyone cares anyway ;)).

The mix of props and criticisms are commonplace for Aggies. For those that are on the spectrum of "just don't get it" or slide further to mock our traditions, frankly, most of us get where you're coming from. We actually enjoy the fact they are so unique as to be weird to some. With the 'sips joining the SEC, we'll have to put up with the constant slander again (it was nice while it lasted... gah..).

But for the open-minded, our traditions finally make sense when you know about the school's history. West Point, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, VMI, the Citadel, etc., all have some "crazy" traditions that people never hear about since the schools are so small in size and fans at large, non-academy schools don't cross with them much.

Texas A&M was an all-male military academy until 1965 (the first 90 years of the school's history, founded in 1876). In 1965, Corps membership became non-compulsory, and women began attending in about 1971. By 1975, graduating classes were finally fully co-ed and one could say Texas A&M had finally become a "regular" co-ed university where the student population was primarily "non-reg" (not Corps members). In the grand scheme, 50 years ago is actually not that long ago.

Traditions that began with the Corps made their way into the non-reg student population, which explains virtually every tradition you see today, and why you get a feeling you are at both a "military academy" and "regular university" on game days. It explains why the campus and tailgating tends to be very friendly for visiting fans, and why Texas A&M is probably the largest conservative school today. Knowing this, it helps understand the "clash of cultures" we had with "Texas University" (a highly liberal school that would have fit well in the PAC 12).
  • Yell Leaders = An homage to the all-male military days. There's actual events that date back to the early 1900s that explain why they wear janitor outfits.
  • Yells = Actually, this was very common to many schools in the early 1900s and often filled with non-sensical terms (e.g., "rah rah sis boom bah"); Aggies simply have a way of "passing down" traditions because of their history.
  • Hearing "Old Army" or students say "Army" and such a lot = obvious reasons now.
  • "Wildcatting" or "Whooping" = It's an upperclassmen privilege to "Whoop", so underclassmen can only "wildcat" (these are sounds of approval, for example, after a score), even among non-regs. Obvious reasons now why this is a tradition (military academies are full of various privilege systems).
  • Kissing your dates after scores = Homage to the days cadets had dates visit town on game days, and because they otherwise had drill and could not leave campus during the week because of military training, it was often the only event they could call a date.
  • Midnight Yell = Same, began in the military days with cadets "sneaking" out after the day's military programming was complete to do a pep rally.
  • 12th Man = Based on a real event in 1922. And because Aggies love symbolism tied with a culture of adhering to tradition, students still stand the entire game.
  • Aggie Band = Required to be in the Corps to be in the Band (thus explains why they play miliary ballads).
  • Corps = Just over 2,000 of the student body today (it may be up to 2,500 now). Thus, why we still do March Ins on game day. It is an ROTC, but not like at other Universities. Schools like Bama of course have ROTCs, but it's not 24/7. At Texas A&M, Corps members live as students at military academies (morning and evening formation and "chow", uniform on campus and at class every day, take military sciences classes, required drill, call to quarters in the evening, etc.). March Ins on game day are graded by the Commandant and often dignitaries are present to review the cadets as they march by (George Bush, for example, often was on the stand).
The tendency of Aggies to feel compelled to play good hosts to visiting fans can also be said to have root in our history. It was dishonorable to act in certain ways when it was an all-male military academy, so it permeates into the non-reg and alumni ranks even still today. If you are an opposing fan, you will especially experience this if you speak with a Corps member, and likely hear a bunch of "sirs" and "ma'ams".

Even saying "Howdy" is considered a tradition Aggies must adhere to when you make eye contact with someone on campus. Many Aggies don't even understand it also traces back to the military traditions, since most Aggies now are "non-regs." They attend "Fish Camp" before their freshman year to learn about the traditions, and are just told they're supposed to do it. But simply, at military academies (as it still exists today in the Aggie Corps), when a superior crosses the path of a subordinate, a salute or some form of recognition is required. Today, cadets must say "Howdy Mr. Smith, sir" when recognizing an upperclassmen; when meeting them for the first time, they also have to go through a script of where they are from and what their major is. Just saying "Howdy" among the non-regs is an homage to this, but simply it is just respectful to anyone, including when we said it to Bama fans when they visited.

Our greatest tradition is Aggie Muster. It stems back to WWII when Aggies "mustered" on Corregidor Island in the Pacific. Today, Aggies all over the world are encouraged to get together on April 21 every year for camaraderie and specifically to remember the Aggies lost in that area that year. Hard to estimate, but last I heard, they estimate there is a formal, organized Aggie Muster in over 400 cities worldwide. The part of the ceremony where one can hardly find a dry eye in the house is "Roll Call for the Absent". As your deceased friend or family member's name is called, you answer "Here!"

We're used to fans of opposing schools thinking our traditions are very odd or "cultish." So no offense taken when someone thinks that way. We get that most don't know our history as well as we do. But for the open-minded, they actually do have root in something and make sense.

Until we meet again, best of luck, Gig 'em and RTR.
 
Last edited:

BamaMoon

Hall of Fame
Apr 1, 2004
21,491
17,344
282
Boone, NC
Howdy Bama... We'll miss playing you this year. I dropped in randomly trying to take my mind off work (been crazy, we're going through another merger). I saw some props and some typical detractions on our traditions, so thought I'd chime in (as if anyone cares anyway ;)).

The mix of props and criticisms are commonplace for Aggies. For those that are on the spectrum of "just don't get it" or slide further to mock our traditions, frankly, most of us get where you're coming from. We actually enjoy the fact they are so unique as to be weird to some. With the 'sips joining the SEC, we'll have to put up with the constant slander again (it was nice while it lasted... gah..).

But for the open-minded, our traditions finally make sense when you know about the school's history. West Point, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, VMI, the Citadel, etc., all have some "crazy" traditions that people never hear about since the schools are so small in size and fans at large, non-academy schools don't cross with them much.

Texas A&M was an all-male military academy until 1965 (the first 90 years of the school's history, founded in 1876). In 1965, Corps membership became non-compulsory, and women began attending in about 1971. By 1975, graduating classes were finally fully co-ed and one could say Texas A&M had finally become a "regular" co-ed university where the student population was primarily "non-reg" (not Corps members). In the grand scheme, 50 years ago is actually not that long ago.

Traditions that began with the Corps made their way into the non-reg student population, which explains virtually every tradition you see today, and why you get a feeling you are at both a "military academy" and "regular university" on game days. It explains why the campus and tailgating tends to be very friendly for visiting fans, and why Texas A&M is probably the largest conservative school today. Knowing this, it helps understand the "clash of cultures" we had with "Texas University" (a highly liberal school that would have fit well in the PAC 12).
  • Yell Leaders = An homage to the all-male military days. There's actual events that date back to the early 1900s that explain why they wear janitor outfits.
  • Yells = Actually, this was very common to many schools in the early 1900s and often filled with non-sensical terms (e.g., "rah rah sis boom bah"); Aggies simply have a way of "passing down" traditions because of their history.
  • Hearing "Old Army" or students say "Army" and such a lot = obvious reasons now.
  • "Wildcatting" or "Whooping" = It's an upperclassmen privilege to "Whoop", so underclassmen can only "wildcat" (these are sounds of approval, for example, after a score), even among non-regs. Obvious reasons now why this is a tradition (military academies are full of various privilege systems).
  • Kissing your dates after scores = Homage to the days cadets had dates visit town on game days, and because they otherwise had drill and could not leave campus during the week because of military training, it was often the only event they could call a date.
  • Midnight Yell = Same, began in the military days with cadets "sneaking" out after the day's military programming was complete to do a pep rally.
  • 12th Man = Based on a real event in 1922. And because Aggies love symbolism tied with a culture of adhering to tradition, students still stand the entire game.
  • Aggie Band = Required to be in the Corps to be in the Band (thus explains why they play miliary ballads).
  • Corps = Just over 2,000 of the student body today (it may be up to 2,500 now). Thus, why we still do March Ins on game day. It is an ROTC, but not like at other Universities. Schools like Bama of course have ROTCs, but it's not 24/7. At Texas A&M, Corps members live as students at military academies (morning and evening formation and "chow", uniform on campus and at class every day, take military sciences classes, required drill, call to quarters in the evening, etc.). March Ins on game day are graded by the Commandant and often dignitaries are present to review the cadets as they march by (George Bush, for example, often was on the stand).
The tendency of Aggies to feel compelled to play good hosts to visiting fans can also be said to have root in our history. It was dishonorable to act in certain ways when it was an all-male military academy, so it permeates into the non-reg and alumni ranks even still today. If you are an opposing fan, you will especially experience this if you speak with a Corps member, and likely hear a bunch of "sirs" and "ma'ams".

Even saying "Howdy" is considered a tradition Aggies must adhere to when you make eye contact with someone on campus. Many Aggies don't even understand it also traces back to the military traditions, since most Aggies now are "non-regs." They attend "Fish Camp" before their freshman year to learn about the traditions, and are just told they're supposed to do it. But simply, at military academies (as it still exists today in the Aggie Corps), when a superior crosses the path of a subordinate, a salute or some form of recognition is required. Today, cadets must say "Howdy Mr. Smith, sir" when recognizing an upperclassmen; when meeting them for the first time, they also have to go through a script of where they are from and what their major is. Just saying "Howdy" among the non-regs is an homage to this, but simply it is just respectful to anyone, including when we said it to Bama fans when they visited.

Our greatest tradition is Aggie Muster. It stems back to WWII when Aggies "mustered" on Corregidor Island in the Pacific. Today, Aggies all over the world are encouraged to get together on April 21 every year for camaraderie and specifically to remember the Aggies lost in that area that year. Hard to estimate, but last I heard, they estimate there is a formal, organized Aggie Muster in over 400 cities worldwide. The part of the ceremony where one can hardly find a dry eye in the house is "Roll Call for the Absent". As your deceased friend or family member's name is called, you answer "Here!"

We're used to fans of opposing schools thinking our traditions are very odd or "cultish." So no offense taken when someone thinks that way. We get that most don't know our history as well as we do. But for the open-minded, they actually do have root in something and make sense.

Until we meet again, best of luck, Gig 'em and RTR.
Thanks for the background info.

What about the arm linking swaying the whole stadium does before games? If you mentioned it I must have missed it.
 

New Posts

TideFans.shop - NEW Stuff!


Purchases made through our TideFans.shop and Amazon.com links may result in a commission being paid to TideFans.