Even though it feels good to take part, not all college sports traditions require audience participation. Some are more of a spectator sport, and boy can they be fun to watch. St. Joseph’s basketball fans get to enjoy the team’s Hawk mascot as he gets in an amazing arm workout each game out on the court.
Seeing the Hawk flapping its wings is truly amazing. It just keeps going from tipoff to the final buzzer. The man or woman inside the stifling bird suit never stops flapping. There are estimates that the St. Joseph’s Hawk flaps its wings an astounding 3,500 times per game. No wonder their motto is “The Hawk Will Never Die.” Well, at least they have really toned arms.
John Brown University
We’ve talked enough about the NCAA for now. We are going to give the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) some much-deserved attention. JBU is a small school with a little over 2,700 undergrads, but they have a ton of school spirit or just a ton of... toilet paper?
When the Golden Eagles drain their first bucket of the year at home, the students let the T.P. fly, which resulted in a technical foul and two free throws for their opponents. This incredible T.P. toss has gained JBU athletics the distinguished title of “best technical foul in all of sports.” Just two words, no regrets!
The University of Southern California
If you live on campus at the University of Southern California, we hope you like the sound of clanging metal. When the Trojans have a home game, hordes of fans march down Exposition Boulevard from campus to the Colosseum and carry on one of USC’s oldest college sports traditions and rites of passage - they kick the pole.
The cardinal and gold wearing fans have no need for four-leaf clovers or horseshoes, this is their one and only ritual that needs to be accomplished on the way to the game. Nobody knows why kicking one of the three flagpoles at the edge of campus is good luck, but don’t you dare skip it. The tradition must be upheld and if a few toes are hurt in the process, well that’s the price of greatness.
“War Eagle” is more than just a battle cry for Auburn Tigers fans, it is a representative of their fighting spirit. No one quite knows where this motto comes from, although there are some theories. Even though it is not their school mascot, it is clearly very special to SEC fans.
The best part, according to Auburn fans, is that when they shout out the War Eagle battle cry, it’s like giving their in-state rivals a kick in the shin. Arch-rivalries are part of what make college sports traditions so awesome!
Army vs. Navy
Despite the name, the Army-Navy football game has nothing to do with national security or rescuing hostages. These two rivals have been fighting for victory since 1890. The tradition begins before the kick-off with the Black Knights and the Midshipmen trading students who spent the last semester amongst “the enemy” as a part of the Service Academy Exchange Program.
Leave it to the military to start a celebratory day with a “prisoner exchange”. But it is all in good fun and allows the exchange students to root for their own teams from their side of the field. And honestly, what is more, American than football, serving your country and a long-standing rivalry?