Tag Archives: game day

Auburn University – Rolling Toomer’s Corner


Informant MW was a current undergraduate student at Auburn University at the time of this collection. The informant’s parents are both Auburn fans who participate in game-day events and they encouraged MW to do the same as they grew up. As an undergraduate student, MW has had the opportunity to continue participating in some of the same game-day events they did before attending Auburn.

Auburn football fans celebrate the game day in a multitude of ways, all of which contribute to the large game day culture which can be experienced both on and off campus. I asked MW if they could share some of the traditions/game day rituals they enjoy partaking in.

This particular tradition is beloved by many Auburn fans.


“When Auburn wins a football game, we all go roll Toomer’s Corner” “It’s usually for football games but sometimes we do it for other sports when it’s a big game.”

See the Toomer's Corner madness following Auburn's win over Alabama


This game-day ritual overtly celebrates the victory of Auburn University’s sports team. While to outsiders it might just appear to be an enjoyable tradition, to insiders it has come to represent the passionate spirit and comradery of the university and its fans. In hearing about this ritual, I am inclined to believe that it expresses and reflects one of Auburn University’s most fundamental values: unity within community. By encouraging large groups to gather and roll specified trees on its campus, Auburn is permitting a temporary yet unavoidable change in its physical appearance. If only one or a few people were to participate in this ritual, it would not have much of an effect, but by encouraging mass participation in this ritual, Auburn is allowing a demonstration of the potential that students/fans have when they unite. Just as sports themselves are team efforts, this game-day ritual hinges on teamwork. While this tradition provides students and fans with an exciting activity, it is simultaneously functioning to represent and physicalize the shared value of unity.

University of Alabama Game Day

Main Piece:

Game Day at the University of Alabama are like nothing else. It is a school defined by football, and people take it seriously. You wear a mix between your Sunday Best and Going Out outfit, but more modest than going out. Typically it is a mix of Crimson and White clothing. First thing people do is head to the quad. You find your friend or your sorority sisters and begin tailgating. Sometime you go to your sorority house, and her EG, her house is right next to the stadium. You go to the stadium an hour before the game, go to the student section and stand. Sitting rarely happens during these games. After every touchdown the crowd sings the fight song. At the end of the game, bearing that the students are still there, they sing Rammer Jammer, a classic song of the school. Many students don’t stay for the whole game as Alabama typically gets a huge lead over their competitors, and they typically leave before the fourth quarter making them miss this tradition.


EG is a sophomore at the University of Alabama, and has attended football games for the past two seasons. Both of her parents attended the school and are also avid fans of the team. She was raised an Alabama fan her whole life and has never been otherwise. This was taken from a conversation at our house.


As EG is my twin sister, I subsequently was also raised an Alabama fan. We have been to make games over the years, but I am the only one to never have gone to a game at Bryant Denny Stadium, Alabama’s home stadium. The only thing I can compare it too is the USC Game Day experience. From picture’s I have seen from theirs. It is similar in ways and different in ways. When she came to Los Angeles for family weekend last fall, she noted that the atmosphere in the Coliseum was different than in Bryant Denny. As I have not been to an Alabama game, I cannot understand what she means. While we also have traditions at the fourth quarter and end of the game, they are much different than at Alabama.

USC Trojan Knights Cheer


Southern! Califorrrrnia!

Fight On!


Interviewer: What is being performed?


Informant: A Cheer by Rafael Souza. The Hammer Drop, one person yells and the others join and spell out Southern California.


Interviewer: What is the background information about the performance? Why do you know or like this piece? Where or who did you learn it from?


Informant: It is a game day ritual for USC Trojan Knights.


Interviewer: What country and what region of that country are you from?


Informant: USC Traditions


Interviewer: Do you belong to a specific religious or social sub group that tells this story?


Informant: Trojan Knights


Interviewer: Where did you first hear the story?


Informant: When I went to my first game day


Interviewer: What do you think the origins of this story might be?


Informant: Spirited USC students probably


Interviewer: What does it mean to you?


Informant: A lot as a new knight


Context of the performance– classmate interview


Thoughts about the piece– Trojan Knights are a USC service and spirit organization founded in 1921. See  https://www.trojanknights.org/  to learn about other TK traditions including Tommy Watch, Card Stunts and the Victory Bell. As a USC freshman, I don’t know many details about the mysterious TK fraternity type club but appreciate their traditions that enhance school spirit, especially during football season.

USC game days – kicking the flagpole

During any game day, while walking to the Coliseum, Trojan football fans (anyone who’s rooting for USC) kick the bases of the flagpoles at the end of Trousdale for good luck during the game.

On the way to the Coliseum (USC’s football stadium), it’s common to see fans passing into the stadium park to kick the flagpoles. The informant, as a marching band member, was told from the first game on to kick the pole as the band marched by, but other USC students find out from student friends or USC alumni at the games.

I spoke to my informant during an on-campus event.

It doesn’t appear that there is any real rational behind the practice? Maybe it’s like the theater practice of “breaking a leg” or the general saying “knock on wood,” with the caveat that since not all USC Trojan football fans are USC students or alumni, the flagpoles are a universally-recognized symbol that all fans can engage with.