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.
The University of Connecticut
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.
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 Pennsylvania
This kooky and somewhat cheesy tradition is allegedly inspired by cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Ivy League is not the obvious choice when thinking about college football, but you may want to attend the University of Pennsylvania’s football games. They are apparently the toast of the town (pun fully intended).
When the school’s fight song comes on, students pelt the field with bagels, bread and all manner of baked goods as soon as the line “Here’s a toast to dear old Penn” is uttered. And to top it off, a toast shaped Zamboni rolls through the field post-game to clean everything up.
Wake Forest University
With a name like the Demon Deacons, no wonder every winning game is an excuse to play a Halloween-inspired trick. Wake Forest University students head to the quad and use toilet paper to emulate the sideburns of their Muppet-like and strangely adorable mascot, the Demon Deacon.
It’s a good thing for college sports fans that leaving high school and starting college does not magically make you more mature, especially regarding college sports traditions. If undergrads automatically became adults and only used toilet paper for its intended purpose, we would be robbed of some amazing and hilarious college sports rituals.