Omni Escapes Magazine Escapes Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 53

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES The University of Southern California (USC) campus is a happening place in Los Angeles each game day. The Trojan team, fans and the school band all follow special rituals. “The USC Spirit of Troy marching band parades through campus en route to the Coliseum before every home game,” explains Paul Goldberg, a sports information director for the team. The fight song, “Fight On,” is a staple of these rallies. During the game, in addition to the halftime show, Goldberg says the band is involved in a special moment before the start of the fourth quarter. It performs the “William Tell Overture” while the stadium’s Olympic torch is lit. The fans have some traditions of their own. “In the countdown to kickoff, Trojan fans—walking from campus toward Exposition Park—kick the last campus flagpoles on the [way] to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum,” Goldberg says. Another beloved tradition involves the George Tirebiter statue on campus. Before games, many fans will rub the nose of the former canine mascot for good luck. University Park and Exposition Park are both major tailgating spots. The university recently began taking reservations for some of the spaces, ensur- ing tailgaters have some- where to celebrate before the game. VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE Tailgating traditions have amped up at Vanderbilt University since 2005, when the college launched Vandyville. Organized by the athletic department, this game day tradition allows Commodore fans to come together and relax in a tented community bef ore the game. In the first five years, it expanded from nine tents to over 50 to accommodate more fans. An oversize screen shows highlights and other relevant games. The Dore Alley Walk expertly combines the tailgating tradition with the team. As players are dropped off on campus each game day, they wind through Vandyville, giving fans the chance to high-five and shake hands with the team. Tradition extends beyond the pre-parties at Vanderbilt. An anchor—symbolizing the team’s strength— has become an iconic part of this football program. It is displayed in the locker room and even taken on road trips to away games. During home games, an anchor is carried onto the field during the pregame ceremony, when select individuals get the honor of “dropping the anchor” at midfield. Whether the team wins or not, home games are also concluded with a special tradition. The team makes its way to the part of the field that sits in front of the student section, where they lock arms to sing the alma mater with the fans. When the game ends with a win, a black flag with the Vanderbilt athletic mark is raised for a week. FA L L 2 0 1 7 OMNI_School-eV3-e.indd 53 | 53 | ESCAPES 9/29/17 3:28 PM