Friday, November 23, 2007


Last week I went over some of the traditions of The Ohio State University (the The is another tradition by the way, if you say Ohio State Univ, you have to say the THE) and said I might tell of some of aTm's this week. Well, I forgot; but today is the aTm/ut game so I figure better late than never. Now most of these are from memory but I am guessing if they were traditions when I was there, they are still alive and well...
Bonfire-probably one of the most beloved traditions when I was there. It has changed though because in 1999 during build it collapsed killing 12 students and injuring 27 others. Before this accident bonfire was held on campus. It was always lit right before the UT game. Months before students can sign up for 'cut'. Students go cut down the trees to get the logs ready to stack for bonfire. I think the next stage is 'stack'. There is a long log that is used as a pole to anchor bonfire. All logs then are around this center pole in a tiered manner. At the top is an outhouse and usually a mile marker of the freshman class (I was a 'fish' in '95, class of '99 so there would be a '99 on top). Cut and the actual building of bonfire go on 24 hrs/day. For actual bonfire, the band would start on the south side of campus and march north to where the site was. Bonfire is basically midnight yell for the UT game. After bonfire (next few days) people would go and light cigars from it and collect ashes. I still have my ashes. In the spring they have re-plant where students go and replant trees since they cut some down. I did re-plant, and went to bonfire but didn't participate in any of the building of the bonfire.
Midnight Yell: The night before each home game everyone goes to Midnight Yell in the stadium. At midnight we practice our cheers. aTm does not have cheerleaders, they have yell leaders who are all male. To become a yell leader you have to run for it and get voted in by the students (kind of like running for class president). Yell leaders wear all white and conduct the yells basically with their arms. Some people go to yell with dates, at the end of yell they turn the lights off for a bit and you are suppose to 'mug' your date (mug is the aTm term for make-out/kiss). You also mug after each touchdown at games.
Football games: Aside from mugging at games, you also have to stand the entire game. aTm is home of the 12th man and standing is to show we are ready and willing to go in if needed. At the end of the 3rd quarter we sing the Fight Song and are suppose to get "off the wood" which means to get off the bleachers (you stand on the cement behind the bleachers). At the "saw varsity's horns off" part we lock arms and sway side to side. At the end of the song you whoop depending on your class (freshman: "aaaaaaaaa" arms up in the air, sophomore: "aa aa aa" shake arms in front of you, junior: "a-whoop" shake arms once for the 'a' then hold them like a gun for 'whoop', senior:"whoop" hands like a gun). If you are a lower classman and you do an upper classman whoop they can make you push (do push-ups) BUT an upper classman can give you their class privilege for the day.
You can also be told to push for saying certain words. The only one I can remember is 'elephant' which was a senior word.
Guess that's all for now, though there are many more like dunking your ring (when you get your class ring you drop it in a pitcher of beer then chug the beer until you get your ring back), elephant walk (seniors walking around campus before they graduate), the Corps of Cadets wearing beer caps for losses (freshmen have beer caps on their shoes kind of like spurs that they have to wear the next Monday at school if the football team loses a game) among others.
Oh I almost forgot one of the best traditions. I think it was the first Tuesday of the month (though not sure on that)--they have Silver Taps (if needed). Here everyone gathers in the middle of campus. All (most) lights around campus are turned off and everyone is silent. The firing squad marches in perfect formation (I don't know how many are in it but it sounds as if only one person is walking in). The names of currently enrolled students who have died are announced then they do a 21 gun salute and play Taps 3 times for those people. aTm is actually a military school which many people don't know so that is why there is a Corps of Cadets (to be in the band you have to be in the Corps), why they play Taps and why you are considered a former Aggie (never an ex-student).
Oh yeah again, they also don't say UT, instead t.u. And when doing longhorns symbol with your hands you point them downward. And you say beat the hell outta (whoever your are playing) and they say howdy and gig'em, and you don't walk on the field unless you are a football player (or for other legitimate reasons) so you will never see Aggies rush the field after a big win and you don't walk on the grass or wear your hat inside Memorial building. Some of my facts may be slightly off, but I think most of this is fairly accurate. And a fun fyi-the drill team at the beginning of A Few Good Men are the aTm Fish Drill Team (the guys who fling their rifles around in unison). Oh and at aTm fish means freshman.
Alright off to watch the game, last I saw the Aggies were actually beating the hell outta t.u. :)

3 people are laughing with me:

The Wades said...

Impressive recollection. Just imagine if you went there all four years how much you'd know! Sounds like a fun place. Tell me some traditions from NMSU. :) love

Auntie Nee said...

I think the only tradition NMSU has is the non pc fight song

Auntie Nee said...

Oh yeah and Pistol Pete, but again not pc cuz he has a gun