A Traditional Saturday
When it comes to football the SEC is King. Winning three consecutive BCS National Championship games and leading the nation in recruiting are standards that have become expected out of SEC teams.
Founded in 1932, ten out of thirteen of the SEC’s founding members still play in the conference. Needless to say those ten teams have formed some very rich traditions and very fierce rivalries.
Alabama and Ole Miss have stayed faithful to the SEC and when the two teams meet up it is an explosion of shakers and seersucker. Every Alabama fan knows about the Bear’s houndstooth legacy, every word to Rammer Jammer, tailgating on the quad, and can sing the fight song in Bryant Denny like a well-tuned church choir.
Like Alabama, since it’s establishment in 1848 (We are older, est. 1831) Ole Miss has developed their own set of rituals. The “Rebels,” renamed the Black Bears in 2010, don’t have the quad but they do have the Grove. Sports News named the Grove “The Holy Grail of Tailgating sites,” and 25,000 fans agree, arriving early the day before each home game to stake their square of grass.
“It’s the biggest cocktail party you’ll ever go to. You wear your Sunday best and everyone’s friends in the Grove!” Ole Miss student Sarah Atnipp told me.
Ole Miss has their own version of the walk of champions too, and while theirs is not littered with championship plaques like Alabama’s Walk of Champions, Ole Miss fans line up hours before kickoff to watch football players strut their stuff in suits, ties, and Beats by Dre.
While Alabama has the famed saying, “Roll Tide,” Ole Miss claims, “Hotty Toddy.” They don’t use this term as a response to virtually any question like Alabama fans tend to do but they do use it as the first verse to their version of Rammer Jammer.
The Hotty Toddy chant is very similar to Rammer Jammer which means ‘Bama fans are going to need to loosen up their vocal chords for the game on Saturday to insure the Rebels/Black Bears are nice and drowned out.
Grooming amazing athletes is one tradition both Universities are very proud of. Giants Quarterback Eli Manning and “The Blind Side,” inspiration Michael Oher both played at Ole Miss and 39 former Alabama players are currently in the NFL.
With a multitude of traditions and an 8:15pm kickoff, this Saturday should be a fun one!
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