<
>

Big East game-day traditions: Cincinnati

Cincinnati football has been around a long time, but the program was largely ignored for large swaths of its history. The Bearcats are more popular than ever now and have a few game-day traditions worth noting. (Up next is South Florida; send me your traditions now, Bulls fans.)

The Charge Down the Stadium Steps: Probably the best game-day tradition is performed by the marching band, which plays "Army Fanfare" at the top of Nippert Stadium before running down the stadium stairs to the field.

The Cat Walk: The team walks from its hotel through Sigma Sigma Commons and into the stadium before each home game.

Crowd-surfing mascot: The Bearcat mascot crowd-surfs through the student section during games.

Theme from "Halloween": In a recent tradition, the stadium PA blares the theme from "Halloween" on opponents' third downs and other big plays. When the team and the fans are wearing all black, it's pretty intimidating.

Testimonials

Max H. from Cincinnati: The best tradition is most definitely the Bearcat Band's "Army Fanfare" charge down the stadium steps. It is the most fun thing. Being in the band I have enjoyed many of our traditions, including meet the team and the homecoming parade, but once we start staging up for our charge down the stairs, our students go nuts! It has gotten so loud that I cannot even hear myself playing sometimes. Also our cannon is a signature item which fires every time we score. But what's even better is that we can script bigger words than OSU; we did it during the last home game against Illinois!

James from Cincinnati: My favorite tradition before Bearcats home games is the band's Charge Down the Stadium Steps. I'm biased because I was in the band for four years, but it's still a great tradition. Of all the traditions your write about for the different Big East teams this is probably the most unique. It's a unique tradition because there aren't many other old stadiums in the country where the steps go straight onto the field. The band has been doing it for over 50 years and it's one of the main reasons I don't want our home games to be moved to Paul Brown Stadium except for the occasional exception, like Oklahoma this fall.

Doug from Cincinnati: The best Cincinnati tradition is Nippert Stadium itself. Although 35,000 capacity is pathetic for a BCS program, it's intimate and offers great sight lines. There isn't a bad seat and every fan feels like they're part of the action. Its location in the middle of a dense urban campus doesn't allow for the kind of tailgating that occurs at WVU games. This is what makes Nippert special though. The stadium is literally the heart of campus, students walk through it every day. Its truly a part of the university not just some site where the football team happens to play.

Harold from Chicago: I am a UC grad and here are a list of my favorite gameday traditions: 1. The UC cheer, ohhhhh ohhhhh ohhhhh clap clap clap UC! Best. Cheer. Ever. 2. The band running down the steps of Nippert on to the field prior to the game. 3. Waiting for band members to trip and fall. 4. Crowd surfing the Bearcat up the student section. 5. Playing the "Halloween" theme music during games which seemed to have started when playing USF at home on Halloween. 6. Singing the alma mater after every game win or lose. 7. By far the best new tradition is winning Big East championships!

Ryan from West Chester, Ohio: My favorite Cincinnati football game-day tradition is probably the entrance of the football team. After entering through a rocking black blow up UC tunnel, red fireworks shoot in the air as the crowd goes nuts and the team runs through the band and cheerleaders straight to the south endzone where the student section is, players jumping into the crowd, high fiving, and getting pumped for the game. Hard not to be pumped to watch UC football after that entrance.