Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Civil War: what's in a name,song and uniform

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 8:00 PM

And so we come to the annual Civil War deciding which aptly named wet-side-of-the-State football team is better. Good luck to both schools, as I have no personal attachment to either institution.
I do, however, have an opinion on matters pigskin starting with the Civil War name. My question is, does the Civil War rank in the top tier of football rivalry names?
Here are the contenders for best-named rivalry game.
The Game (Harvard-Yale). Maybe this was the big game in 1849 but today it’s hardly on the radar although this year's game was exciting (It was on Versus in case you missed it).
The Big Game (Cal-Stanford). Maybe not the biggest game by far but this year a real burner especially with old-school thunder thighs throwback Toby Gerhart running the ball for Stanford.
The Holy War: (Utah-BYU) Wow, this battle behind the Zion Curtain for religious supremacy has a nice, almost medieval, ring to it.
The Civil War (Oregon-Oregon State)-Sounds way too polite for a big entanglement to me.
The Backyard Brawl: (Pitt-West Virginia): You gotta love this one as it puts the emphasis on smash-mouth gridiron.
All the above names duly noted, the winner is- The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (Georgia-Florida). Forget all the others this name says it all. After all, what matters most in all big rivalry games is what goes on outside the stadium and not on the field.
Now to fight songs. Here's a list of the best in my humble opinion:
"Fight On' (USC). "On Wisconsin", "Our Sturdy Golden Bear" (Cal), "Cheer, Cheer For Old Notre Dame", "Boomer Sooner" (Oklahoma), "Hail To The Victors Valiant" (Michigan), "Bulldog, Bulldog Bow Wow Wow" (Yale), "Glory. Glory, Colorado".
And the winner is "Hail To The Victors Valiant" for Victorian era language set to a stirring tune. Runner up: Yale's little ditty. I mean how arcane is that song?
And the song that few like to hear ever in these parts: "Fight On". (with apologies to all sons and daughters of Troy).

Finally to uniforms. This is easy because the Ducks have perhaps the worst uniforms in the history of college football. Were they designed by a losing contestant from "Project Runway" after a bad night of clubbing?
Then there's OSU whose uniforms that look very much like the ones the other OSU (Oklahoma State University) wears and somewhat like the Cincinnati Bengals and the Princeton Tigers and a few other feline named teams.
As to Pac-10 teams, save for UCLA, most have pretty lame uniforms. So I'll go out of conference and say West Virginia has the best home and away uniforms of any team in the U.S.  The Mountaineers uniforms look like football uniforms (Ducks take note).
And now to my Civil War prediction. The Beavers win the uniform part of the competition. The Ducks win the fight song competition. The cheerleaders are a draw. The Ducks take the pre-game tailgating. The Beavers take the post-game party.
As to the football game- who knows?

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