Traditions of College Sports

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Traditions. We all have them. It can be what a family does for a holiday meal, or it can be how you choose to celebrate your birthday, or the birthday of others. Or it can even be a ritual that you do before any event that is special to you. Traditions. The actions which bind us together. We all have them.





And then there are the traditions of college sports. I saw my first one over fifty years ago, when my Boy Scout troop volunteered at an Auburn home football game. An eagle was released, then circled around the stadium and landed at midfield. I will never forget it. As you are reading this, I am very likely witnessing my most-recent college sports’ tradition. I have seen many hundreds of them, and each one has touched me in a way that I can’t describe. Many of them are quite famous, and even a part of pop culture, while others have been celebrated for 150+ years by one small school – which year after year does the same wonderful thing around a sporting event – and no one outside of those students, or alumni base have a clue that it goes on.





Each time you witness a college sports’ tradition, you are making a memory for a lifetime. One college athletic staff recently received a package from a former player, now a Marine, donating all of his service medals. “You taught me about tradition and how to earn these”, was the message enclosed. That school may have been one with a very famous tradition, or a school with a tradition that very few are aware of. It really doesn’t matter. But I will wager on one thing: at that college they viewed that, “a tradition without heart is simply a habit.” It wasn’t a habit that inspired that Marine. It was a tradition with heart.





My first book on this subject: College Sports’ Traditions – Picking-Up Butch, Silent Night and Hundreds of Others contained 1,200+ traditions from 500+ schools, and it has been very easy to add to that collection with my most-recent book: College Sports Traditions – Before, During and After a Game. I am on a journey along a life-long destination path that celebrates all that’s good about college sports, their players, alumni, students, and fans.

Welcome to that journey.