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The Top Most Awesome (and Sometimes Bizarre) College Sports Traditions in All of History

Aug 8 2012 at 5:07 am by

The bizarre and extreme always lead to miracles, don’t they? Awesomely enough, some of the greatest miracles have come from sports –


  1. The USA Olympic Hockey Team
  2. Daniel E. “Rudy” Ruettiger
  3. The Marshall University Football Team


And with every miracle, there is that superstition bringing it all around. A rabbit’s foot? Maybe. Or prayer to God (every football player loves that one)? Possibly.

Best college traditions

But these college sports traditions? Phenomenal. And maybe even a little bizarre!

Traditions, for sure, remind us that college sports – all sports – allow us to dream of glory, guts, and the gusto of the marching band cheering for the winning kick or three-point shot.

And we like to believe that something as mundane as a rabbit’s foot may play a hand in it!

Needless to say, here are some of the most interesting traditions in college sports. Some of them are actually funny, others are sort of cute, and a couple here is just plain strange.

So definitely enjoy!



The Ohio State University Buckeye “Leaf Stickers”

Ohio State University traditions


Aaawww…. A true state of fact that even college football players in all their massive developing muscles can be in touch with their inner child. They love stickers!

Why? Apparently, this tradition going as far back as 1967 revolves around a particular coach by the name of Woody Hayes thinking it would be good luck to reward his players with “stickers” on their silver helmets whenever they made great plays during games.

Not just any stickers, though. No, no. Leaf stickers. That’s rather touching. I’d be thankful, though, that the stickers weren’t “My Little Pony” or “Edward Cullen.”


The University of Iowa’s Psychological “Pink Play”


Who says football isn’t a “thinking” game? It’s like chess, for God’s sake. These big animals called football players do have brains; they’d have to given the fact they have to remember every darn play the coach comes up with. After all, the helmet protects the brain from damage (mostly).

Of course, most of the thinking really isn’t done by the players. It’s done by the coaches – in particular, one coach from the University of Iowa by the name of Hayden Fry, a Baylor psychology major ironically enough, acting like a veritable Sigmund Freud.

University of Iowas Pink Tradition

For that extra edge in a game, you know what he did? He painted the entire away team’s locker room right before his first game with his football team. What color? Oh, the smashingly masculine color of pink.

The whole locker room? Yes. The whole locker room. Everything from the toilets to the ceilings. Pink.

Can you imagine the horror in the eyes of the away team, as they walk into the locker room and see pink? That really doesn’t make a team want to play some good and intense football. The color ‘pink’ isn’t exactly an aggressive color. Look at every single G.I. Joe character, and you won’t find even one character wearing the color pink. Instead, these football players are fixing their jock straps in Barbie’s house.

Pink Locker Room

By Asolsma1988 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons


The University of Colorado’s Running With the Buffalo


Here’s the thing: everyone knows it, scientists know it, psychologists know it…. We’re all dumb animals, basically. We do stupid stuff all the time. Walk on the moon? Are we retarded? Yes. Or how about build airplanes? The Wright brothers were insane.

where college traditions come from

The University of Colorado has possibly one of the greatest traditions in college football.  The football team is lead onto the field at the beginning and second half of each game by a real life 1,300lb buffalo!  The students love it, the fans love it and admit, you love it!

Oh, and the buffalo is named Ralphie. And the buffalo’s a female.


Last, But Definitely Not Least, Notre Dame’s “Play Like a Champion Today”


Pure awesomeness. Jack Black himself as the panda would agree. I left this one for last, because really there’s nothing bizarre or even funny about it. It just screams pride, glory, and nostalgia for a football team practically worshiping those words on a sign in the hall right before coming out to the field by simply tapping it in homage to the words.

Every football player for the Fighting Irish does it. Even the ones sitting on the sidelines. It’s a tried-and-true tradition that will never go away.

Play Like A Champion Today

Photo Credit:


Play Like a Champion Sign

Photo Credit:

Original Play Like a Champion

Original Play Like a Champion Sign

One would think that a player tapping the sign as he walks out in his shining gold helmet would embody those words, that it would act as some kind of spiritual channel of energy to energize the player with the power to pummel the opposition with his pinky.

What’s important is that a player believes in it. Faith is full of power. And words cut to the soul. When you put the words “play” and “champion” together, it’s like subliminal messaging for a football player.

There’s no better tradition than that…. Not one in this world.


No Matter What the Tradition Is….


It unifies a team in a common goal and gives them the will to win. One inch. One point. One goal. Sounds like a coach’s speech, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t matter if it’s nothing more than a rabbit’s foot. The tradition – the charm for good luck, if you will – has power because someone believes it does.

And that makes all the difference.

However…. If you’re the coach on a college chess team, you better paint that locker room bright red with giant horns painted all over it. Nothing says disaster like a peeved and aggressive chess player, right?


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