Introducing Nebraska to Big Ten traditions

February, 16, 2011
2/16/11
9:00
AM ET
Some might see the headline and make a joke about losing a New Year's Day bowl game, but I wanted to continue Nebraska's welcome to the Big Ten blog by revisiting my game-day traditions series from 2010.

Nebraska fans travel extremely well and Big Red will have a presence at every Big Ten stadium in the coming years. This is a good way to show them what to expect on fall Saturdays.

Here's a look back at your suggestions for top game-day traditions. I've identified a few highlights from each post, but click on the links for much more.

ILLINOIS

Highlights
  • Block I's card stunts: The Block I student section has been the "visual staple" at Memorial Stadium since 1926 and performs creative card stunts during games.
  • Three In One: There's no more Chief Illiniwek, but the band still performs the time-honored Three In One at the end of its halftime show. Many fans still shout "Chief!" at the conclusion.
INDIANA

Highlights
  • The Walk/PowerPlay! One of two traditions started by the late IU coach Terry Hoeppner, as players and coaches walk through the tailgating areas to the crimson gates at Memorial Stadium two hours before home games. Indiana's Marching Hundred also performs during The Walk.
  • R-O-C-K In the USA: The Marching Hundred honor Bloomington native John Mellencamp by playing his hit at the end of the first quarter. It doesn't hurt that the song references "Rock," the nickname for Memorial Stadium.
IOWA

Highlights
  • Back in Black/entrance video: One of the best pregame intros you see, Iowa players are shown walking down the tunnel from their locker room to the field as AC/DC's appropriately titled hit blasts through the speakers in the stadium. On the video screen, Herky Hawkeye drives Iowa's equipment truck over the logo or mascot of that day's opponent.
  • "Big ass turkey leg": There's only one acceptable pregame meal at Kinnick Stadium, as fans flood the food stand selling, well, big ass turkey legs on Melrose Avenue. Yum. The guy hawking the turkey legs is rather entertaining.
MICHIGAN

Highlights
  • Touching the banner: Every college football fan worth his or her salt has seen Wolverines players and coaches race onto the field and jump to touch the "Go Blue: M Club Supports You" banner, as the marching band plays "The Victors." The tradition started in 1962.
  • Temptation/The Hawaiian War Chant: The Michigan marching band has played these two percussion beats after games for four decades. The band also plays "Temptation" after the Wolverines' defense makes a third-down stop.
MICHIGAN STATE

Highlights
  • Spinning the 'S'/MSU shield: When the band plays the fight song before the game, it creatively shifts into a hollow block 'S' formation and marches down the field for the chorus. The band also will form the MSU shield out of nowhere to delight the crowd.
  • Zeke the Wonder Dog: These Frisbee-catching canines have been the traditional halftime entertainment for Michigan State games since the late 1970s.
MINNESOTA

Highlights
  • Spin Your Head: Minnesota fans love their mascot, Goldy, and during games fans will chant "Spin your head!" Goldy always obliges, delighting the crowd.
  • Ski-U-Mah chant: The famous phrase is more than 110 years old and incorporates "Ski," a Sioux battle cry for victory, with "U-Mah," representing the university. It appears in both Hail! Minnesota and the Minnesota Rouser, and is chanted at games.
NORTHWESTERN

Highlights
  • Walker Way: The late Randy Walker played a major role in restoring respectability to Northwestern's program, and the school honored its former coach by naming the road northwest of Ryan Field after him. Fans assemble two and a half hours before kickoff to greet players and coaches as they arrive, a tradition known as "Walk with Us." Some fans watch games from Randy Walker Terrace, located in the north end of the field.
  • The Purple Clock: During the football season, the clock tower above the Rebecca Crown Center, which houses Northwestern's administrative offices, will turn purple or white depending on the outcome of games. Purple means a Wildcat victory; white means a Wildcat loss.
OHIO STATE

Highlights
  • Script Ohio and dotting the 'i': The Ohio State marching band spells out a script Ohio and a fourth-year sousaphone player dots the 'i' pregame or at halftime.
  • Skull session at St. John Arena: The band holds its warm-up performance just north of Ohio Stadium at St. John Arena, usually drawing crowds of more than 10,000 fans. After becoming Ohio State head coach, Jim Tressel brought the football team to the skull session on their way to the stadium. Both Tressel and a senior address the crowd.
PENN STATE

Highlights
  • Paternoville: Students set up tents and camp out next to Gate A so they can secure prime seats in the student section for games. Head coach Joe Paterno, assistants and players usually stop by throughout game weeks. Students will camp out the entire week before big games.
  • The whiteout/white house: Fans are asked to wear white for a big game, usually for a night contest against a name opponent. The result is one of the coolest crowd visuals you'll ever see.
PURDUE

Highlights
  • Breakfast Club: Purdue students dress up in costumes and hit the bars early before heading to the game. It's like Halloween seven or eight times a year.
  • Big bass drum: Known as the world's largest drum, the centerpiece of Purdue's band is wheeled around by four members in sliver helmets. Two drum beaters thump away during the band's performances.
WISCONSIN

Highlights
  • Jump Around: The House of Pain hit blasts through the speakers between the third and fourth quarters, and fans follow Everlast's orders as the stadium literally shakes. Even the visiting teams will sometimes get into the act.
  • The Fifth Quarter: Thousands of fans will remain in their seats after home games to watch the marching band's extensive performance. Among the favorite songs played are "Beer Barrel Polka," "Hey, Baby" and "You've Said it All," also known as the "Bud song."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

BIG TEN SCOREBOARD

Friday, 11/28
Saturday, 11/29