One of the bowl games that end the college season, the Rose Bowl, even has its own parade, the Tournament of Roses Parade, which features beautiful floats decorated entirely in organic materials, plus marching bands, horse riding teams, and more.
Have you ever thought of the link between college football and the United States Civil War? I was intrigued to read about it in a New York Times blog post.
I remember, from years ago, a college all-star game played on Christmas Day called the Blue-Gray Football Classic. (For much of the war, the Union armies wore blue uniforms. The Confederates wore various colors, but their uniforms are most associated today with the color grey.) Not surprisingly, the Grey players attended college in former Confederates states, while the Blue players came from states that stayed in the Union during the Civil War.
Another blog talks about the Civil War origins of various college mascot names.
I was surprised by something I learned about the University of Pennsylvania football team. When that team scores, the band plays a song that begins "Hang Jeff Davis [the President of the Confederate States of America] on a sour apple tree". The lyrics are even on the band website. The melody of the fight song was used for at least two Civil War era songs, John Brown's Body and The Battle Hymm of the Republic.
Many sources say football dates from around 1869, when the Civil War (which ended in 1865) was fresh in the minds of all Americans. But then I found this, dating from 1861, the year the Civil War began. What is not disputed is that many college team sports grew in popularity after the war, and a lot of war imagery was incorporated. Football still means war today, according to the late American comedian George Carlin.
This is day four of the three blogging challenges I am involved in. I normally have a Civil War related post on Sundays.