Big Red is a UConn basketball legend, but you won’t find him on the court, he is leading from the stands. He gets his moment in the spotlight whenever the Huskies make a run or score a huge basket, forcing the other team to call for a timeout. At that moment, all eyes in the student section turns to Big Red so he can deliver his inspiring chant – “U – C – O – N – N, UConn!, UConn!, UConn!”
Fans of the opposing team mostly reply with the uninspired “U-S-U-C-K! You suck! You suck! You suck!”. But don’t worry, they can’t get a rise out of Connecticut’s most devoted fan, he understands that means he is successfully getting under their rival’s skin.
Texas A&M University
Getting a college student to show up for an early morning or late-night class is a challenge, but just try to keep Texas A&M fans away from Midnight Yell Practice (not held at midnight). On the night before the Aggies run onto Kyle Field for a home game (two nights before away games), over 20,000 loyal fans turn up for a massive pep rally to work on their school spirit.
Yell leaders wearing t-shirts and overalls, not wanting to get their white game-day uniforms dirty, lead Aggie fans in songs and chants to get ready for the upcoming match. Hand movements accompany the songs and the mass of fans all work together as a perfect unit. They are so disciplined and attentive their professors don’t even recognize them.
The University of California, Berkeley
This California Golden Bears fan tradition has such a great name, that it alone ensures inclusion in this list. Chapel “Tightwad” Hill is located just outside of the California Memorial Stadium. Students meet there to watch the school’s football games for free.
There is finally a time and place for tightwads to be proud of their penny-pinching abilities. The one “price” these fiscally responsible students do have to pay is through their ears, due to the proximity of the California Victory Cannon. Although it is only fired before every game, after every touchdown, and after every victory. Hmmm, it might be a good idea to invest in some earplugs.
University of California, Los Angeles
The UCLA Bruins have been one of the top college basketball teams in the country for decades. The team regularly produces NBA talent and consistently ranks in the top 25. When celebrated coach John Wooden retired, the Bruins program needed a new burst of energy. Everyone felt the absence of Wooden, who had led the team to ten National Championships, so Bruins super fan Lawrence “Frisbee” Davis decided to step up.
Frisbee, who rarely if ever missed a UCLA sporting event, was inspired by a call-and-response cheer he saw at a water polo game. He adopted it, made a couple of tweaks and started an enduring college sports tradition.“Is this a basketball?” “Yes, that’s a basketball!” This goes on for a while, illustrating that UCLA will soon win the game while their opponents will clearly lose. The crowd finishes things off by screaming “U-C-L-A! Fight! Fight! Fight!”. This catchy shout has become a true Bruins classic.
The University of Iowa
Hawkeye football fans have a relatively new tradition but what it lacks in age, it makes up for in heart and has quickly earned its place on this list. Kinnick Stadium is situated right next to UI Children’s Hospital and when the Hawkeyes have a home game, the whole stadium turns as one to wave at the special fans next door.
At the end of the first quarter, a stadium filled with over 70 thousand fans turns around to perform this moving wave. The band also have their own special way to get in on the action. Coming up, marching bands play an important role in college sports traditions.