The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Keen: Traditions make MSU sports special

Landon Scheel | The Reflector

Originally named the “Paint up Crew,” the Hail State Paint Squad has been a part of the student section for every Mississippi State home football game since the 2014 season.

​No matter where you come from in life, you are sure to have some sort of family or school traditions that have helped shape you into the person you are today. Being a student at Mississippi State University is no exception.

From special events to top-tier food, there is something special for every person that steps foot on campus as a student, fan or community member.

Many of the university’s most well-known traditions occur during sporting events, and while they are certainly not limited to athletics, they help enhance the overall atmosphere and make MSU the best place to be on most weekends. Bulldogs fans are lucky to have some wonderful opportunities to cheer on their favorite teams in fun ways.

First up: the cowbell. This is the most obvious tradition associated with Mississippi State because of how unique it is. I mean, what other school in the nation can say that it uses a type of farming equipment as a symbol of spirit and intimidation?

These noisemakers can be found everywhere, and most students make them their own by adding names, stickers and ribbons. This also helps you keep track of your own bell on busy game days, although you might not be putting it down very much if the Dawgs are playing well. Remember to ring responsibly and have a good time with tens of thousands of fans like yourself. 

If you want an extra dose of cowbell just before football season begins, then Cowbell Yell is calling your name. This event is a pep rally held just a few days before the opening of football season and brings the campus and community together for a night of fun and a little bit of learning. Coaches and star players often make appearances, while spirit squads, event hosts and the Famous Maroon Band put on a show that demonstrates common cheers and songs.

Speaking of songs, most people can think of one special tune that they always associate with a great moment in their life.

MSU is sure to introduce you to a few more that will take you back to the smell of grills in the outfield and the feeling of cold air on a Saturday night. “Friends in Low Places” by country music legend Garth Brooks is a staple at Dudy Noble Field. During the eighth inning, the song plays as everyone sings along. “Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men and a remix of the song “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics can be heard blasting from the speakers of Davis Wade Stadium. 

​Mississippi State is lucky to have one of the best live mascots in the SEC. This year, Bully XXII, formally named “Dak” after former Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott, will be making the rounds to different events in his first year as the university’s official mascot.

You will probably catch a glimpse of Dak sitting court-side at Humphrey Coliseum or running alongside the football team ahead of a big Saturday matchup on the gridiron.

Sometimes, there might even be opportunities to stop and pet the friendly pup or snap a quick picture with him. 

Since you are a student, you will now have the perks of sitting in student sections at different games. This is not necessarily a tradition, but it is definitely a rite of passage to show that you are officially a Mississippi State student.

These designated areas are where you will eat traditional stadium food, lose your voice from cheering and meet a couple thousand of your newest friends. Soak it all in, because these years pass quickly. 

​Every school has its traditions, but the unique trademarks of Mississippi State have had a huge impact on the fan experience at various sporting events across campus. New Bulldogs, be sure to make plenty of memories with cowbells in hand under stadium lights throughout your time in Starkville.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Keen: Traditions make MSU sports special