When it comes to college football, teams like USC and Notre Dame always tend to dominate the news, but decades ago, Notre Dame had another rival -- West Point. While Army's football program is no longer a national powerhouse, its traditions remain timeless.
With that, I give you the top 10 traditions experienced by Army football fans:
10. Cadets tailgating - There are a lot of people with family ties at these games, so there are always cadets stopping by to tailgate. This not only helps to build camaraderie amongst fans, but it creates a unique opportunity for fans to meet the future leaders of our military.
9. Mules walking around campus - Before making their way into the stands, these mascots mingle with crowd.
8. The Black Knight in the stands - Army keeps real mules on the sidelines and costumed mules in the stands, but my favorite mascot has always been the Black Knight. After all, who needs security when in addition to being surrounded by armed forces, you have a medieval knight patrolling the grounds?
7. Fly By - It doesn't happen all of the time, but if you are lucky, a few fighter jets may "buzz the tower." This would definitely be in the top three if it was more consistent.
6. Alma Mater - When the "Alma Mater" plays at the end of the game, it reminds you of the tradition behind this great program.
5. Cannons - Every time the Black Knights score, it can be heard around campus through an explosive blast for each point scored. I can't imagine any sound that could be more infuriating to an opposing coach.
4. Parachuting - Seeming to have forgotten their tickets, there are always a few fans who drop in from above.
3. Fight on to Victory - I never leave Michie Stadium without the words, "On brave old Army team, on to the fra-a-a-y; fight onto victory, for that's the fearless Army wa-a-a-y" stuck in my head.
2. Freshmen Push-ups - What was once probably a form of hazing has turned into a timeless tradition, as freshmen cadets storm the end zone to do push-ups every time their team scores. If Army ever became an offensive juggernaut, there could be some sore plebes on Sunday morning.
1. Army-Navy Rivalry - Let's face it, Army football has not been the most competitive program for quite some time, but when it takes on arch rival Navy in December, you are in for the best game of the season.
Billy Obenauer is a life-long Army football fan who has been attending games since 1988.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Army football