Things to See - Besides the Game
Many universities offer stadium tours during the off-season or on non-game days. The tours provide a behind-the-scenes look at the teams, famous coaches and players, school traditions and treasured spaces within the stadium. Typically, visitors see the playing field, team locker room, recruitment area, press box, a museum area filled with pictures, memorabilia, and trophies while hearing stories and anecdotes from tour guides. Count on seeing the school mascot displayed in everyway imaginable and hearing stories of mascot trials, tribulations and impressive feats as nothing evokes as much emotion and passion for a team than its mascot. Following are a few mascot attractions for your next stadium tour:
Ross-Ade Stadium, Purdue University
The World's Largest Boilermaker Statue resides on the Purdue University campus in front of Ross-Ade Stadium beside the Mollenkopf Athletic Center. Based on 19th century locomotive boilermakers, the 18-foot, 5,400-pound bronze statue exudes strength. Wearing a hard hat, he lifts the hammer and prepares to strike that metal on the anvil. BOILER UP! HAMMER DOWN!
Tombstones of the Ugas
Sanford Stadium, University of Georgia
Although the Bulldog has been Georgia's mascot for 100+ years, Uga (University of Georgia), the pure white English bulldog, has led the Red & Black since 1956. Deceased Ugas are interred in a mausoleum near Gate 9 of Sanford Stadium with a bronze, life-sized statue representing Uga in front. Each dog's tomb has a bronze memorial plaque. HOW 'BOUT THEM DOGS!
Mike The Tiger
Tiger Stadium, Louisiana State University
Mike the Tiger, the live Bengal Tiger, lives in his on-campus habitat between Tiger Stadium and the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. One of the most visited sites in the state of Louisiana, Mike's 15,000 square foot lush environment is one of the largest and finest Tiger habitats in the US. Opposing players must pass Mike's cage to reach their locker room. OH THAT TIGER!
The Unconquered Statue & the Sod Cemetery
Doak Campbell Stadium, Florida State University
The Unconquered Statue was built in 2003. It stands 31 feet tall and represents mascot Chief Osceola and his horse, Renegade. The "sod games" and the Sod Cemetery became an FSU tradition in 1962. Before leaving a significant road game, the winning captain pulls a piece of their conquered opponent's turf to be buried in Sod Cemetery outside the practice field gates.
Darrell K Royal Stadium, University of Texas
Since 1916, the Texas longhorn steer with burnt orange coloring named Bevo has been the mascot for the University of Texas. Today's 2,000 pound Bevo XIV, whose horns span 6 feet, appears at home games, UT-Baylor games and other events. Honoring the iconic mascot, Bevo Museum, on the east side of DKR Memorial Stadium, is free and open to the public. HOOK 'EM HORNS!
The Ramblin' Wreck
Bobby Dodd Stadium at Grant Field, Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Tech introduced its first official Rambling Wreck car in September 1961 to 43,501 fans at Grant Field in Atlanta, GA. An instant success, the restored 1930 Model A Ford Sport Coupe has been bursting out of a stadium tunnel carrying cheerleaders and leading the football team onto the field prior to every home game. The old gold body with white soft top car is seen on campus at Alum, Freshman and official events. I'M A RAMBLIN' WRECK!
Reprinted from TRIPinfo.com's Resource Atlas & Handbook.