Background: Informant is a middle-aged woman living in Seattle, who went to Auburn University. She told me this story on the phone.
Informant: I don’t really get it, but there’s a story about the War Eagle at Auburn…the mascot is actually the tiger, but The War Eagle (they have a great Vet school there and also rehab bird of prey) flies at the start of every game. Starts at the top of the stadium and lands in the center of the field, with 90,000 (yes, really) fans yelling Waasaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Eagle, Hey! It’s kinda cool actually.
Thoughts: It’s interesting to hear folklore from universities, especially because universities and schools can get so intense about their traditions. Even at USC, people think that the mascot is Tommy Trojan, but the real mascot is actually Traveler the Horse. It almost feels like another “in-the-know” piece of information that you have to be familiar with the school to know and not the commoner would know. It reminds me of the “Fight on!” Being so common and known among all USC students and alums, but to someone who isn’t familiar with USC as an institution, having someone scream “fight on!” At you would be jarring.