It’s About That Time

I am elated to report that the high today in Birmingham was 78 degrees. SEVENTY EIGHT DEGREES. It is August 15th.

The Lord is faithful and worthy to be praised.

And then – AND THEN – if that weren’t enough, I found this little treasure in our mailbox this afternoon.


I realize that you’ve probably already seen that picture if we’re friends on Twitter or Instagram, but I think it bears posting again because COLLEGE FOOTBALL, OH MY WORD.

I have to say, though, that this summer has been so busy that I’m way behind on my usual pre-season activities. I’ve barely read the message boards, and I haven’t listened to sports talk radio in months. I don’t really know who’s supposed to be good this year except for Alabama and A&M, and since I live in Birmingham, those predictions provide fair warning that I have about two weeks before walking into any clothing store means that I’ll be swimming in a sea of houndstooth. Don’t get me wrong. I am happy for my Alabama friends and their rich football heritage and etc., but have mercy, I WOULD NOT MIND A BREAK FROM THE HOUNDSTOOTH.

Because here is what every clothing store looks like from September – December.


There are houndstooth dresses and shirts and gloves and headbands and earrings and umbrellas and paper goods and sunglasses and phone cases and dog leashes and scarves and tights and more scarves and shoes and rain boots and never let it be said that the Alabama fans do not enjoy a theme.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking tonight about how lots of the SEC teams have a catchphrase (for lack of a better term) that their fans say to each other as a sign of loyalty or solidarity or pure-dee football crazy. In Alabama people even use the phrases as greetings – so instead of saying “hello” or “hey,” Auburn fans greet each other with “War Eagle,” and Bama fans greet each other with “Roll Tide.” The phrases also work for “goodbye.” Sort of like “aloha,” I reckon.

(This video provides an excellent illustration.)

(And if you’re wondering if it’s realistic? YES.)

At Mississippi State, we greet each other with “Hail State” (though Sister and I tend to say “Go ‘Dogs,” for whatever reason), and Ole Miss fans say “Hotty Toddy” (lately there’s been a whole thing with “Fins Up,” and even though I know Rebels don’t care a lick about a Bulldog’s opinion, I think the whole land shark thing muddies their mascot waters – but that is another discussion for another time). In the last couple of years Vanderbilt fans have adopted “Anchor Down,” but I don’t know if it has caught on as a campus-wide greeting or if it’s just more of a team motto. Texas A&M fans are partial to “Gig ‘Em,” and while Arkansas fans don’t necessarily say hello to each other with “Woo Pig Sooie,” they have turned #wps into one of the most recognizable college football hashtags (well done, Razorbacks).

The bottom line is that each SEC school has its own unique culture, right down to the ways that fans communicate with each other. I know that schools outside the SEC have similar traditions, and now that we’re just a couple of weeks away from kick-off, I thought it might be fun if some of us shared our favorite saying(s) for our favorite college team(s). I mean, I think it would be all kinds of fun to watch, say, the Akron / UCF game on August 29th and have the inside scoop on what the fans like to yell. Otherwise I’ll just be sitting on my couch and cheering, “Go…YOU! Go!”

(And listen. I know that it’s important to keep college football in the proper perspective. Certainly I don’t think any of us intend to let our whole lives revolve around football. But I do think it’s fun to enjoy the anticipation of the season.)

(I believe I’ve sufficiently over-explained.)

All righty. What say you, college football fans?

p.s. Hail State.

p.p.s. Go, ‘Dogs!

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  1. At Penn State we said “We are!” and then others would answer back “Penn State.” Sometimes just walking on campus a student would yell “we are!” and people walking to class would automatically respond. I find that doesn’t have the same effect when yelled in the local WalMart.

  2. “Rip `em up! Tear `em up! Leave `em in the lurch. Down with the heathen. Up with the Church.–Yea, Sewanee’s Right!”

  3. Can’t let the opportunity pass without a shout out from Penn State country. If you yell – WE ARE – anywhere, you will promply hear – PENN STATE.

    Aren’t you glad to hear that some Northerners check in everyday? :)

  4. Rocky Top, you’ll always be–
    home sweet home to me.
    Good ‘ol Rocky Top,
    Rocky Top Tennessee.

  5. We are big Virginia Tech fans and it is common to greet another fan with
    “Hokie Hokie Hokie High!”

  6. Break out the Garnet and Gold. It’s time for the War Chant! Go NOLES!

  7. Okay, so it’s not football, but it’s local trivia for you. My hubs and I went to the University of Montevallo just south of Bham. The rumor is that there was some massive endowment years ago and the stipulation was that UM never creates a football team (it may just be what we were told). BUT, Montevallo does have the oldest homecoming tradition in the US. It was even a question on Jeopardy! It’s called College Night. Basically, students choose to be (school colors) Gold (GV!) or Purple (PV!) and each side participates in various sporting activities and puts on an original production (think Broadway). The students write the script, music, play in the orchestra, choreograph, build sets, etc., etc. And after 4 nights of doing their shows, a winner is chosen. It is hardcore. And if you went to Montevallo and meet another alum, you automatically say: Purple or Gold. Just like you ask: Alabama or Auburn? It’s an indescribable kind of awesome when you meet an elderly lady who participated in College Night when she was a student (it was a girl’s school until mid century)– if you participated, it’s an unspoken bond.
    I could go on and on and on…. here’s a link if you’re itching for more info :)

  8. Baylor Bears..Sic Em or Sic Em Bears

  9. Football is here Yeehaw!! I love this post and all of your blog. College football makes it hard for me to “hide my crazy”…lol! Love every single minute of it, and really enjoyed reading everyone’s traditions. That’s what keeps it fun. Gig ’em Aggies!

  10. Go Big Red! T-O-P-S, Tops! Tops! Tops! (Western Kentucky University) Not a SEC school, but we did beat UK last year. Just sayin’. And, someone named Bobby Petrino is our new head coach?!

  11. “Let’s Go Peay!” — borders on a vulgarity, but from this Southern Ohio Valley Conference town, this is a common greeting for any Austin Peay State University Governor!!

  12. Shelly Martischewsky says:

    oh my goodness, can’t believe I’m the first Husker. cuz you know in Nebraska, that’s all we do, Husker Football. I know the last decade was sorta not great. thats our deal, love em no matter how much you hate em. anyway, Go Big Red

  13. i know not many folks from the south say this but we do!! GO IRISH!! hoping for another great year. living in east tennessee– there are never so many notre dame fans as when we play so. cal. these ut fans still are mad at usc’s coach. got some new green to wear and are ready!!


  15. HAIL STATE!! I love Mississippi State! My mom went to Purdue, though, so I grew up saying “Boiler Up!”

    MAROON! WHITE!! True Maroon!

  16. How about GO ‘ROOS! Not that you’re likely to catch them anywhere on TV … Austin College Kangaroos … in Sherman, TX! :)

  17. Stephanie says:

    Hook ’em!

  18. Anchor Down baby! Vandy football – no longer the doormat of the SEC. :)

    And since I haven’t seen it posted yet, several of my Penn State friends will call out “We are!” And the reply: “Penn State!”

  19. Andi Hunter says:

    In my house we have a Red Raider (Guns Up!) and a Longhorn (Hook ‘Em). Have a brother who went to Baylor (Sic ‘Em), cousins who are Aggies (Gig Em) and another cousin who’s a Horned Frog (Riff Ram). There are more schools represented UNT & McMurray & SWTSU but Idk their catchphrases. We are a veritable fruit basket turnover of Texas Universities.

  20. Thank you for the nod to our #wps. We’re very proud of that. :)

    This isn’t exactly a regularly-used saying, but it makes me laugh every time I think of it. A couple years ago, right after Bobby Petrino was fired for the whole intern-on-the-motorcycle incident and single-handedly ruined the Hogs’ chance to become a football powerhouse in the near future (NOT THAT I AM BITTER OR ANYTHING), lots of Arkansas fans walked around wearing bright red shirts that said, simply, “D*mmit, Bobby.” (No asterisk, of course. Just keepin’ in clean.) :)

  21. I’m so with ya on the houndstooth, as a fellow Alabamian who is a MSU Bulldog as well. Bad thing is, I work in Columbus, MS and the houndstooth is rampant there too. And year round! Mercy.