By Pat Edwards
Ramblin' Reck Club
Let me begin by saying just one thing: terrapin on the half-shell with a side of Blue Devils, Mmmmm, tasty!!!
Since Coach O'Leary and the Yellow Jackets gave us a long awaited class 1-A victory, our first since 1993, I feel that this might be a good time to explore some of the traditions that Tech follows in association with football scoring and victories.
Every time the Golden Tornado makes either a field goal or a touchdown, the band pipes in with the two fight songs of the Institute: "Up With the White and Gold", and "The Ramblin Reck from Georgia Tech". Here all true Tech students, alumni and fans join in singing these tunes with a fervor.
Both of these songs were copyrighted by perhaps Tech history's best-known band leader, Frank Roman. He holds the copyright for the arrangements for each of these songs, though the words are credited to the student body as a whole and the melodies are credited to bawdy barroom ballads.
The words to the world famous fight song, "Ramblin Reck from Georgia Tech" were written somewhere around the turn of the century and were first published in the metal bound Blueprint of 1908. The song, set to the tune of the "Sons of the Gamboliers", a particularly raunchy ballad, has reached such a notoriety over the years that it was sung by Gregory Peck in the movie The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, John Wayne in The High and the Mighty, and a cartoon band in a 1930's Daffy Duck cartoon, Freddy the Freshman. The most notable occurrence was during the vice-presidential trip of Richard Nixon to Moscow in 1958. Then, in the midst of the kitchen debate between Nixon and Nikita Krushchev, the two men, deciding to sing a song together to lighten the scene a bit, discovered that Nixon did not know a Russian song. The soviet premiere, however, knew a single American song: "The Ramblin Reck from Georgia Tech". The two men sang the song for a group made up largely of high level advisors and security personnel, but the event was captured by a secret service agent on film, but, perhaps mercifully, without sound.
Buzz, our yellow jacket mascot, in recent years has originated a new tradition to celebrate Tech scores. Buzz executes his own sort of Football Factorial, where he performs a push-up for each point on the scoreboard whenever the team scores. Seven push-ups after a Tech touchdown and extra point, fourteen after the next, etc. Given the stamp of this year's football team, Tech may have to recruit Hulk Hogan for Buzz next year.
Some members of the football team have revived a very old tradition of the players gathering in the end zone to sing the "Rambling Reck From Georgia Tech" after a Tech victory. Several folks from the Reck Club indicated that they had seen team co-captain Mike Cheever offering a robust rendition of the tune after the Maryland win.
Another longtime tradition is the blowing of the A.C. Holland power plant steam whistle after a Tech win. The whistle is blown for a lengthy duration, a great deal longer than the five second blast that signals the end of classes. This is certainly one of the few times that a banshee's wail is appreciated.
RATs, as the first-quarter freshmen have been referred to at Tech since the turn of the century, are expected to record the victories on their Rat Caps. All victories are recorded on the gold caps right-side up, while losses are recorded upside down. Ties are written sideways (the direction, not the dog).
The origins of the White and Gold colors worn by Tech fans to the games go back to the Auburn vs. Georgia game of 1891. At that time Tech did not have a football team, and Auburn invited the Tech student body to attend the game and cheer the Plainsmen against Georgia. The Institute met and decided to adopt the colors Old Gold and White to wear to the game. In the following year, when Tech fielded her first team, the tradition was solidified by the ladies of the Lucy Cobb Institute for Girls who wore the colors when they cheered Tech to a 28-6 victory over Georgia.
As the '95 Yellow Jackets and our Coach, George O'Leary, continue the season in the tradition of Tech teams of old, we, the fans, will hopefully follow in the same tradition of spirit and pride.
It is Time!
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