One of the most unique aspects of college football is the traditions and rituals that have been passed down from generation to generation. These enduring practices add to the excitement and passion of the sport, making it more than just a game. One of the most iconic traditions in college football is the playing of fight songs. Each team has their own fight song that is played before, during, and after the game. The songs serve as a rallying cry for the team, igniting a sense of pride and passion in the players and the fans. From “War Eagle” at Auburn University to “Hail to the Victors” at the University of Michigan, these songs are an integral part of the game day experience. Another time-honored tradition is the capturing of the mascot. Before each game, the opposing team will try to capture the other team’s mascot. This tradition dates back to the early 1900s and has become a staple of college football.
While it is now illegal to capture a live mascot, the tradition lives on through the use of stuffed animals or other representations of the team’s mascot. At the University of Nebraska, the tradition of the “Tunnel Walk” is a beloved ritual. Before the game, the players walk through a tunnel lined with fans. The crowd cheers and screams as the team makes their way onto the field. It is a spine-tingling moment that gets everyone pumped up for the game. Another popular ritual is the ringing of the Victory Bell. This tradition started at the University of Southern California in 194 The bell originally came from a Southern Pacific Railroad locomotive and was donated to the school. After each USC victory, the bell is rung by players and fans to celebrate the win. At the University of Texas, the tradition of the “Hook ‘Em Horns” hand signal has become synonymous with the school and their football team. The gesture, which involves extending the index and pinky fingers while tucking in the middle and ring fingers, was first used in the 1950s.
It has since become a symbol of school pride and unity. Perhaps the most famous tradition in college football is the Army-Navy game. This annual rivalry dates back to 1890 and is steeped in tradition and history. The game is always played in a neutral location, and players from both teams march onto the field in full military dress college football uniforms. It is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve our country. These traditions and rituals are more than just gimmicks. They are an integral part of the college football experience. They add to the excitement and passion of the game, bringing fans together to cheer on their team. They also serve as a link to the past, connecting today’s players and fans with those who came before them. As long as college football continues to thrive, these enduring practices will live on, playing a vital role in the sport’s rich history.