Top College Football Traditions
1. Clemson – Running Down the Hill/Howard’s Rock
The Clemson football team warms up on a practice field up the street, and then does the Tiger Walk to the top of The Hill, where they all rub Howard’s Rock for luck. The Rock was given to legendary coach Frank Howard in 1960, and eventually placed at its current location. To ‘Tiger Rag’, the entire Clemson football team storms down the hill for ‘The Most Exciting 35 Seconds in College Football’, which measures on the Richter scale because of the noise.
2. Tennessee – The Vol
Navy Vol broadcaster George Mooney is credited as the founder of the ‘Vol Navy’, who in 1962 decided to avoid Knoxville traffic by navigating his boat down the Tennessee River to the stadium. Today, more than 200 boats congregate before each Tennessee home game to create an enormous floating tailgate party. It is a sight to see on Rocky Top.
3. Ole Miss – The Grove
The Grove is consistently ranked the top tailgating spot in college football. A lush, park-like 10-acre field surrounded by elm, oak, and magnolia trees, it was originally a meeting spot for Fraternities and Sororities, but has since turned into THE pre-game spot. Since there is no parking inside the Grove, it is packed with Ole Miss faithful as well as visiting fans who are ‘in the know’. You’ll sip drinks in crystal and eat off of the finest China… Ole Miss never loses a tailgate.
4. Florida State – Chief Osceola
The brainchild of Bill Durham and eventually Bobby Bowden, along with the support of the Seminole Tribe, Chief Osceola rides his horse Renegade onto the field at Doak Campbell Stadium before each game carrying a burning spear. After staring down the opponent, they slowly make their way to midfield, where the Chief plants the burning spear, to a rabid crowd. It is a very intimidating experience for the visiting team.
5. Alabama – Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer
A traditional cheer that is played by Alabama’s Million Dollar Band, it is currently played in the closing minutes when victory is certain (which has been quite a bit lately). The cheer has had a rocky past, and has been banned from being played pregame, since chanting to the visiting team ‘we’re gonna beat the hell out of you’ was considered unsportsmanlike. 98% of the student body voted to keep the post-game cheer in a 2005 vote, and it has been a staple ever since.
Honorable Mention: Auburn – Toomer’s Corner
At the intersection of Magnolia and College in Auburn – just across from Toomer’s Drugs, hang two enormous oak trees. After every win at Jordan Hare, fans rush to the trees, where they proceed to ‘toilet paper’ the trees in celebration. After their poisoning in 2010, the future of the oaks isn’t certain, but officials have announced that after some pruning, the trees are in good enough shape to continue the ‘rolling Toomer’s’ tradition for the 2012 football season.
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