Kansas: Rock Chalk Jayhawk (also used in basketball)
Arkansas: Go Pig Suey (also used in basketball)
Florida: Gator Chomp
Florida State: Flaming Spear into midfield
Miami: Coming out of the smoke for football
Clemson: Howard’s Rock
Ohio State: Dotting the I
USC: Traveler slams the sword into midfield
Notre Dame: Touchdown Jesus
Wisconsin: “Jump Around” into 4th quarter
Texas A&M: 12th man
Look above at some of the historic, fun, and memorable traditions at many of the big sporting colleges in this country. Some of those traditions are as symbolic of the programs as the wins themselves. Some are goofier than others. Some have religious significance. But the common factor in all of them is they add to what people from the outside think of the program. It adds a positive opinion and keeps these programs, no matter how small, into the memory of a college sports fan.
But it got me thinking: Why doesn’t Kentucky football have any traditions like this? Something outside of just winning or losing that people remember our programs for. Take the Ohio State tradition of Dotting the I. It happens before the game, and almost always gets shown on TV. Why not create a Kentucky tradition that happens at the beginning of the game, right before kickoff?
Honestly, basketball doesn’t need the tradition. They win enough, much like North Carolina or UCLA, to not need to extra fluff on the game. Kentucky will always be front of mind when it comes to college basketball. But the UK football program BADLY needs something to make it better known, since big time winning has been a struggle for decades. The “Cat Walk” has gotten progressively better, but that doesn’t resonate anywhere beyond our fanbase. What can the football program do to get itself attention, without being ridiculous? We don’t want to be a circus act, but sometimes you have to think outside the box. For years, Oregon football was average, but their uniforms were horrendous and got them attention. It wasn’t about the wins and losses to the nation. It was about the unis. But at least they were getting attention.
I love Wisconsin’s tradition of doing “Jump Around” before the 4th quarter. Even in their down years, they were known for that tradition and the rocking atmosphere it created. Why can’t Kentucky do something like that? Maybe every game should be a “Blue Out” and it becomes known that you have to wear blue and only blue to games. And Kentucky is known as the stadium decked out in blue. I don’t know what the answer is. But that is what I throw at you all? Any ideas on how to improve the “visibility” of the football program. Is there a tradition that the program and its fans can attempt? Or is just about bringing home the wins?