- The Script Ohio Formation
Like many schools, Ohio State has several ways it puts its signature stamp on each of its games. However, one of the best known is something known as the Script Ohio Formation
. That’s when the Ohio State marching band assembles on the field in such a way that they spell out the word “Ohio” in elegant script.
It’s considered a very special honor to be the person that dots the “I” in “Ohio”. The person to whom that honor goes is typically the band’s senior-most sousaphone player. However, a celebrity or special alumnus will sometimes be granted the honor instead.
Why a sousaphone player out of all the other possibilities? It all started back in 1936 when Eugene Weigel (the band director at that time) assigned the honor to a sousaphone player, starting a tradition that continues to this day.
- The March of the Irish Guard
Notre Dame’s connection to Irish and Scottish culture is well known to their ultra-loyal fan base. That said, it’s not surprising that one of their most beloved traditions involves the ten very elite students that make up the Irish Guard. Before each home game, the Irish Guard (dressed in traditional Scottish kilts) are the ones to lead the university marching band onto the field.
The tradition dates back to 1949 when the Irish Guard was formed. Aspiring members only make the squad after a rigorous round of tryouts. They must also meet a number of exacting standards in order to be considered. For instance, they must be a minimum of 6’2” tall, as well as adhere to strict public standards while assisting the marching band.
- The Sooner Schooner
Lots of college football teams have beloved traditions that revolve around a mascot. However, the University of Oklahoma definitely takes this classic idea to a new level with the Sooner Schooner, a replica of the iconic Conestoga wagon.
After every score, the Sooner Schooner races across the field to rally the crowd and the players alike. It is famously pulled by a pair of white ponies named Sooner and Boomer
, as well as driven by the university’s all-male pep squad. The Schooner itself dates back to 1964 when it first made its appearance. However, it would not become the school’s official mascot until 1980.
- The World’s Largest Drum
If you’re a fan of Purdue University’s phenomenal college football teams, then you’re probably also familiar with the World’s Largest Drum. It’s an absolute staple when it comes to the school’s pre-game routine. In fact, it’s considered a great honor to be one of the honorary pushers that accompany it onto the field. (Two members of the school band are responsible for actually beating the drum.
Back in 1921, the drum cost $911 to create. However, its actual measurements are not known. In fact, they are a closely guarded secret to this day.
- Jump Around
Not all traditions revolve around a much loved mascot or a famed field display that’s been around for decades. Sometimes fantastic traditions spring up around something as simple as a really great song. That’s exactly what happens at the University of Wisconsin
between the third and fourth quarters of every home football game.
That’s when the House of Pain song “Jump Around” is played and diehard Badgers fans do exactly that right there in the stands – jump up and down. In fact, the jumping is said to be so enthusiastic that the entire stadium shakes.
The tradition was started in October of 1998 when the Badgers were playing against Purdue. They’d failed to score for the entire first three quarters. However, when “Jump Around” was played, it not only invigorated the fans, but also the team. Wisconsin would come back and achieve an amazing win. How’s that for a great way to start a tradition?