Not all of the Florida State sports traditions are quite as morbid as the burial at Sod Cemetery. This one definitely keeps the fans fired up though. During home games, Chief Osceola and his trusty steed Renegade race down to midfield with a burning spear which is then planted into the turf.
Osceola, who is named after the famous Seminole Indian and his Appaloosa horse Renegade, have been symbols of the FSU team since 1978. Over the years, six different horses have played renegade and a whooping 16 different students have played Osceola. The use of a Native American themed costume was approved by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, although some people are still unhappy with the portrayal.
University of Oklahoma
Whenever the Oklahoma University Sooners score, they pull out the old Sooner Schooner. The wagon, which is a replica of those used by the original settlers of Oklahoma, races across the field in an arc and almost reaches the 50-yard line. It is pulled by two white ponies by the names of Boomer and Sooner.
The name Sooner Schooner comes from the slang term for these type of wagons "prairie schooners" and for “Sooners”, the term used for the settlers who sneaked into the Territory before it was officially allowed. The Schooner has been the official University of Oklahoma mascot since 1980 and is driven and maintained by the school’s all-male spirit squad, the RUF/NEKS.
Missouri State University
Although numerous colleges have picked up on this tradition, it is believed that Missouri was the first to come up with the idea of homecoming. The head coach of the school actually thought of it in 1911, while trying to stoke up the competitive spirit between his team and Kansas. Since then, every year the college invites their alumni along with family and friends to attend the biggest football game of the year.
These days, Homecoming has become one giant party. Alumni don’t only get a chance to reconnect and show their school spirit, there is an activity-filled weekend which includes everything from a parade to a visit at Bearfest Village. The kids even get the chance to have breakfast with Boomer, the Bears’ mascot.
Rumored to be the first-ever living mascot, Yale’s bulldog Handsome Dan is the official mascot of the university. The first Handsome Dan took on the role in 1889 and was chosen for his ability to tolerate loud noises and children and to dislike the color crimson and tigers (which represent the athletic teams of rivals Harvard and Princeton respectively).
Handsome Dans throughout the years have either retired or passed away. The current Handsome Dan is number 16. The bulldog is an important part of Yale lore and even has his own menu item at the New Haven branch of the Shake Shack. A concoction of beer-battered deep-fried onions served with two kinds of cheese.
Since 1961, the Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech has been leading the football team onto the Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. The Wreck is a 1930 Ford Model A Sports Coupe, which serves as the official mascot for the school’s student body. The car’s maintenance has been the responsibility of the Ramblin’ Reck Club since 1987. Not surprisingly. It has been targeted by rival schools. On one occasion, the University of Tennessee took it upon themselves to paint the Wreck and it was stolen by the University of Georgia at least twice.
The Ramblin’ Wreck even has its own fight song, which is played whenever the football team scores, after a field goal or safety and during basketball game timeouts. These are the spirited lyrics:
I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer—
A helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva, hell of an engineer.
Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear.
I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer.
Oh! If I had a daughter, sir, I'd dress her in White and Gold,
And put her on the campus to cheer the brave and bold.
But if I had a son, sir, I'll tell you what he'd do—
He would yell, 'To hell with Georgia!' like his daddy used to do.
Oh, I wish I had a barrel of rum and sugar three thousand pounds,
A college bell to put it in and a clapper to stir it round.
I'd drink to all the good fellows who come from far and near.
I'm a ramblin', gamblin', hell of an engineer!