Thursday, August 03, 2006


What the hell is a Sun Devil?

You would think we just made it up, but a Sun Devil is actually a weather phenomenon many of you know as a whirlwind, or a dust devil without the dust. The mascot character, our beloved Sparky, was drawn by the late Bert Anthony, a minion of Walt Disney. Rumor has it that Sparky was illustrated to resemble Disney, and if you look at them side by side it's kind of creepy. *Special thanks to the boys at DD.


There must be others, right? There are plenty of teams that have nicknames that sound like they were made up by my college buddies in the middle of a mushroom trip. Let's take a trip, shall we?

The Jayhawk is a mythical bird, a cross between a blue jay and a sparrow hawk. The term came to prominence just before the Civil War, in Bleeding Kansas, where it was adopted by militant abolitionist groups known as jayhawkers. With the admission of Kansas as a free state in 1861, Jayhawker became synonymous with the people of Kansas. The Jayhawk appears in several Kansas cheers, most notably, the "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" chant.

That “Rock Chalk Jay-Hawk K-U” chant is cool as hell even when your best basketball team in a decade is getting pummeled by 40 points and you drove from Tempe to Oklahoma City (and got a speeding ticket near Shamrock, TX) to watch it. The male cheerleaders start it by using their megaphones and they really drag it out so it sounds more like “Rooooooooock Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalk Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawk Kaaaaaaaaaaay Youuuuuuuuuuuuuu. Then the fans get into it and the entire arena echoes with the ghosts of Phog Allen and the like.

That’s not really what I was looking for though. A-ha! Here’s the right page:

1. One of the free-soil guerrillas in Kansas and Missouri during the border disputes of 1854 to 1859.
2. A Unionist guerrilla.
3. Jayhawker (Informal). A native or resident of Kansas.

Oh man, just wait for the blog when Kansas plays Ole Miss. Just to make sure everyone’s up to speed, Jayhawkers were against slavery and you can guess where the Rebels (still) stand on the issue. Still, anything originating from “bloody Kansas” sounds pretty cool, I must admit. I like the fact that they pay homage to their historical roots by having a name with which their natives can identify. (never end a sentence with a preposition, especially drunk) Another team in close proximity does the same…

This is the only OU blog you’ll read all week that doesn’t mention Rhett Bomar…whoops.

In Stillwater they call them "zero U"

The school's sports teams are called the Sooners, a nickname given to early Oklahoma land rush pioneers who snuck into the offered territory and staked claims before the land run officially started.

Hmmm. Cheaters. How appropriate.

As if that’s not enough their fight song “Boomer Sooner” is a ripoff of Yale’s “Boola Boola”(whatever the fuck that means) and UNC Chapel Hill’s “I’m a Tar Heel Born.” Let’s add theft to that list that seemingly grows by the hour. I was raised in Oklahoma in the 80’s when Barry was a god and The Boz and Jamelle Holloway were his angels. This one actually stings a little bit.

I moved to North Carolina in the mid 80’s and found out that the reason they’re called Tar Heels is because of an ultra tough platoon in the revolutionary war that always stood their ground. A rather prominent general (whose name currently escapes me) noted that it seemed as if those boys from North Carolina had tar on their heels. No shit, it was in my 4th grade history book. Thanks Mrs. Morrison(even though you were a bitch).
Even chief archrival NC State (no matter how much espn loves Duke vs. UNC) pays tribute to the historical content in their fight song with the lyric “Stand your ground Carolina” which of course the students have changed to “Go to hell Carolina” for their baby blue brethren.

What's with the 'roid turkey?

The answer leads all the way back to 1896 when Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College changed its name to Virginia Polytechnic Institute. With the change came the necessity for writing a new cheer and a contest for such a purpose was held by the student body.
Senior O.M. Stull won first prize for his "Hokie" yell which is still used today. Later, when asked if "Hokie" had any special meaning, Stull explained the word was solely the product of his imagination and was used only as an attention-getter for his yell. It soon became a nickname for all Tech teams and for those people loyal to Tech athletics. The official definition of "hokie" is "a loyal Virginia Tech Fan".

"Old Hokie" Cheer
Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hi!
Tech, Tech, VPI
Sol-a-rex, Sol-a-rah
Poly Tech Vir-gin-ia
Ray rah VPI
Team! Team! Team!

Schlameel, Schlamazel, Hosenphefer incorporated! We’re gonna do
it… WTF?

Let me get this straight- some mountain man all jacked up on moonshine can scribble down some gibberish and it holds for 110 years? They’re lucky they aren’t the Virginia Tech Ra Ra Sis Boom Ba’s. Ludicrous. Credit where credit is due however- this chant, er “old hokie cheer” sounds pretty cool in a packed stadium, although I’ve only heard it over the tv. Just up the ‘pike UVa has a similar sounding gibberish yell at the end of their sad bastard fight song, which is set to “Auld Lang Syne”. Really stirs the soul, you orange lovin’ fags. (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

I thought Cavalier would be a simple enough nickname but it’s been bastardized by the bluebloods in Charlottesville.

Wahoowa, bitches.

In 1923, the college newspaper, College Topics, held a contest to choose an official alma mater and fight song. John Albert Morrow, Class of '23, won the alma mater contest with "Virginia, Hail All Hail," while "The Cavalier Song," written by Lawrence Haywood Lee, Jr., Class of '24, with music by Fulton Lewis, Jr., Class of '25, was chosen the best fight song. Although both songs failed to become part of University tradition, "The Cavalier Song" inspired the nickname "Cavaliers."
I’m sure the Cleveland counterparts lack this kind of lore.

Going back to the fight song, usually referred to as “The Good Old Song, ” they sing the first part arm in academically elite arm to the raucous tune of “Auld Lang Syne” and then break apart and chant the latter half as fast as they can. You can read it, but its waaaay more retarded in unison at Scott Stadium.

That good old song of
We'll sing it o'er and o'er
It cheers our hearts and
warms our blood
To hear them shout and roar.
We come from Old Virginia,
Where all is bright and gay.
Let's all join hands and give a yell
For the dear old UVa
Uni-v, Virginia,
Ray! Ray! U-V-a

Have the copyright folks at Georgia been notified?

What is a Hoya?
The University admits that the precise origin of the term "Hoya" is unknown. The official story is that at some point prior to 1920, students well-versed in the classical languages invented the Greek hoia or hoya, meaning "what" or "such", and the Latin saxa, to form "What Rocks!" Depending on who tells the story, the "rocks" either refer to the baseball team, which was nicknamed the "Stonewalls" after the Civil War, to the stalwart defense of the football team, or to the stone wall that surrounded the campus. [2] In 1920, students began publishing the campus's first regular newspaper under the name The Hoya, after successfully petitioning Rev. Coleman Nevils, S.J., Dean of the College, to change the name of the young paper, which was originally to be known as The Hilltopper. By the fall of 1928, the newspaper had taken to referring to the sports teams (then called the Hilltoppers in reference to Georgetown's geography) as the Hoyas.

Fuck that shit, Western Kentucky is the Hilltoppers. No wonder they changed. Seriously (not really) though, “what rocks!?” Sounds like a geology filmstrip for third graders. You speak ancient Greek, you’re smarter than the rest of us. Bravo, and enough already. There really ought to be a political joke here being in the District and all, but that’s not my forte. Try your own, and I look forward to the references to politicians’ heads as rocks in the comments section. Have at.

The O.G. hilltopper.

I'm sure I've missed a gross of teams, like why does a team calling themselves the Cats make a reference to a bear on their field? Let me know other examples and I'll make fun of them as soon as I can.

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