Cowbells and College Football's 10 Most Annoying Traditions
We almost had perfection. We nearly had it all in a perfect sport that breeds tradition and competition like no other. Yes, college football was almost a sacred haven, only blemished by incessant cowbells and nine other wonders of misery.
Thursday night, the visiting LSU Tigers will be greeted by thousands of cowbells ringing in their ears. Mississippi State is allowing students to reprise the age old tradition of annoying the opponents. Only, it will serve to destroy my enjoyment of the game.
For the same reason we could not stand the vuvuzelas during the World Cup, is the same reason we will find cause to deride the cowbells—because they are annoying.
This got me thinking about other famed college traditions. There are nine others that I find neither whimsical, cute or meaningful.
There is one thing we must all agree on to continue on this planet. Just because millions of people did it, doesn't make it right. So it goes with these god-awful traditions.
So, because a group was too lazy to stop the following traditions from occurring, I have to witness them every week? It is a torture that has gone on much too long.
Allow me to be the voice of reason during a season of beer-swilling and box-o-wine drinking. These things may seem marvelous at the time, but they come across as lame.
I fully expect to be ridiculed in full. The worst traditions are someone else's after all. But I just can't see how so many people can back the next few traditions as necessary to the prestige of the university and football program.
If you ask me, they are just down right annoying.
10. Arkansas: Woo Pig Soiee
This is annoying. It just doesn't have the feel that it is intended to have. I understand the Razorbacks are hogs, and hogs are essentially pigs.
I also like the angle of a rallying cry to be in keeping with what the mascot might be, but this just sounds like thousands of people in a tickling fight.
This just makes me giggle every time I hear it. The only thing that would make it better is if the crowd shouted, "Woooooooooo, piiiiig, sooooieeeee, tickle, tickle, tickle."
9. Clemson: Howard's Rock
I understand, the rock is just sitting there doing no harm. Well, it is still annoying.
Every year there is some account of a person seeing Elvis, Jesus or another figure in their burnt toast. They save this meaningless item and pour their hopes into it.
That's what this rock is to Clemson. Taken from California, Sam Jones basically gave Frank Howard a boulder to look after. Most people would have slapped Samuel in the face and asked him to kindly remove the awful gift.
Instead, Howard duped millions into trusting this as a motivational tool. Now, that really is a miracle.
8. Miami Hurricanes: Entrance Through Smoke
I didn't have too big of an issue with this until recently. Miami started the entrance by smoke, and they should stop.
It was intended to ignite the crowd and give a rock star like feel to the players. Well, I think the players have taken that sentiment a little too seriously over the last couple decades. It is time for much more humbled entrances, for the Hurricanes.
7. Oregon: Duck on a Harley
The easiest way to get people to smile is to slap a smelly 20-something into an animal suit and ride him out on a motorcycle.
Donald Duck leads the Oregon Ducks onto the football field at home games, much like any proud team would want to arrive on the gridiron.
The only thing that would make this worse is if the theme song to DuckTales was played at the same time. Actually, it would make this better.
6. Notre Dame: Play Like a Champion Today Sign
I can just sense the vitriol from Notre Dame alums and fans still clinging to the days when Notre Dame mattered. Well, you are going to need a time machine to get back to them.
I love the sign for its mystique and its lore, but the damn thing is useless. Notre Dame is not getting the necessary dosage of "champion like play" from the sign.
It is time for Notre Dame to hang a sign that is more in keeping with the current state of affairs. How about, "Just Don't Get Beat Too Badly Today."
5. Ohio State: Ohio State "Script"
You know that movie your friend makes you watch every single time you visit them? I mean, I loved Scott Pilgrim the first time. I loved it the 10th time, but at some point physical pain is developed.
The Script has been performed by the band before home games since 1936. That is a testament to how easily we are amazed.
I imagine the first 50 years must have been amazing, but can we start working on the word Buckeyes now?
4. USC: USC's Traveler
I simply had to include one of the most grating programs in the nation. Look, I love the horse named Traveler, but I can't stand the Trojan riding him.
USC has been force fed to the nation in the same way the Yankees and Red Sox are in baseball. Let me clue you USC faithful in on a little secret, every last one of us hates when that dude rides in on Traveler. It's worse than seeing a guy with a popped collar enter the bar.
3. Mississippi State: Cowbells
As it turns out, college football does not need more cowbell.
There is a reason the SEC outlawed free reign of the cowbells in 1974. It ruins the enjoyment of the game, plain and simple.
How about I go over to your house and sit down and scream in your ear while you are watching CSI reruns? It is the same thing, albeit with a chubby fellow taking residence in your home for an hour.
The bells will ring once again, as a brief window has allowed fans to bring them in, making me a very unhappy college fan.
2. Wisconsin: Jump Around
I know this is lame. Why? Because you couldn't sell this to a sober person on the streets without them laughing at you.
Want to start a tradition? So what we will do is have me and a thousand of my homies jump. That's it? Yup, we are gonna jump, and jump and jump. Well, that doesn't sound like a very good idea at all. I must protest.
Wait, we are going to play that song by House of Pain while jumping. The one that was cool for like a hot minute in 1992? The one that even my mom would bob her head to? That's the one.
1. Stanford: Tree
You, my friend, are the bane of my existence.
Have you ever been at a bar with friend, only to see your mortal enemy walk in. That is what the Stanford Tree is, standing like the ridiculous mascot he is.
You see, Stanford couldn't come up with a real mascot because they are so forward thinking. That is why we get Stanford Cardinal. That would be like Penn State being called Blue.
The tree does little but spastically prance around the sidelines, wreaking havoc on the senses at every football game. It it enough to make you drop the green initiative.