Homecoming Day, what is it really about? Is it simply an opportunity for a day off from classes? Another excuse for students to get inebriated and raucous? (Not that they need an excuse.) Was it created with the purpose of matching the home team with a lousy team to ensure students witnessed at least one victory during the season?
In its original incarnation, the event was intended as an invitation for alumni to return to their alma mater for a reunion and celebratory event, usually a football match. (Alumni, after all, are the boosters with the money.) Homecoming games were once called alumni football games. Although many sources credit the University of Missouri with hosting the first homecoming, in 1911, other institutions—Baylor and Southwestern university, for example–maintain their homecoming traditions date to the late nineteenth century.
Pep rallies, parades, picnics, homecoming courts and dances, exchanging mums, and, of course, tailgating (and RVgating in Gator Land) have long been a part of the tradition. So, as you enjoy the weekend–as you snatch Mardi Gras beads out of the air, bend an elbow on the back of an F150–think of homecoming’s long tradition, and be safe.
Take down this eagle, or whatever it is supposed to be! Bring forth the gator!
Who needs a king?
A tailgating we’ll go. Oh, we already did? Well, we’re still standing. Let’s do it again!