College sports are full of traditions. Sports culture evolves when longstanding rituals are passed down and new ones are created, helping young teams forge their identity, including some downright weird superstitions. A true sports fan is willing to do anything for his team to succeed. Colleges and universities take this to the extreme. They are the ultimate fans with their wild and crazy traditions.
Not only students but alumni, locals and other fans from near and far take the school spirit from the campus and into the world. These wonderful traditions vary from crowd-pleasing chants to outrageous costumes and are enough to turn anyone into a super fan. Did your school make the cut? Check out this slideshow to discover who has the best college sports traditions.
Stanford University- Attend “Bearial”
The most intense football rivalry in the Pac-12 is between the Stanford Cardinals and the California Bears. This can be clearly seen when they face off every year in the aptly named Big Game, which started way back in 1892. Stanford students don’t get ready for this momentous event by throwing a wild party, instead they psych themselves up by holding a somber “bearial”. A mix of bear and funeral, get it?
The students gather around “the claw” fountain on campus to perform this unusual ritual. They take a stuffed animal of the California mascot, Oski the Bear, read it its last rites and impale it on the claw statue. It’s Stanford’s modern-day sacrifice to the gods of football. You’d be surprised to know that Stanford is not the only school with such morbid traditions. Keep reading to discover which other sports traditions include holding a funeral themed ceremony for rivals.