Boom-er-lang, Bulldogs, Cowbells

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Yep, it’s Saturday in September, so that means it’s college football day!

Let's go, Bulldogs! Source: alumni.msstate.edu

Let’s go, Bulldogs! Source: alumni.msstate.edu

My alma mater was Mississippi State University. MSU has never really had what I’d call an exceptional football team or program, and has not made it to the top of the NCAA heap, but it certainly hasn’t been for lack of trying. When you play in the Southeastern Conference, you play some tough ball clubs. Still, win or lose, I’m loyal to my Dawgs. I keep my cowbell in a place of honor in my office, and I do bleed maroon and white — but, I do not ring the bell obnoxiously at random times during business hours, despite the fact there is an Ole Miss alum also on the University of Maryland campus!

I love football, so, imagine how thrilled I was to discover earlier this week that Emmett liked football!

Wide receiver? Guard? Tight end? Who knows -- but these guys played without a lot of padding. Notice a few of them with faceguards. Source: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/152050

These guys played without a lot of padding or any safety gear. Notice two of them with faceguards. Source: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/152050

Quite by accident, I discovered a photo from 1899 of the West Florida Seminary football team — and Emmett is on the far left.

EW_football1899

Emmett, 1899, age 17.

I have no idea what his position would have been. There was no listing of the positions on the reverse of the photo. I also cannot tell what position he played, as the boys are not in any particular order.

I have not been able to find what would be an ‘official mascot’ or fight song for West Florida Seminary in 1899, but here’s what I do have, courtesy of the Florida State University archives’ copy of the 1900-1901 Argo:

Corny! What they needed was some cowbell. Source: 1901 Argo, Florida State University

Boom-er-lang? Corny! What they needed was some cowbell. Source: Florida State University archives.

WFS was co-ed for only a few more years; in 1905 the Buckman Act restructured education in Florida, and the WFS was reorganized first into the Florida Female College, then renamed in 1909 to Florida State College for Women. Hence, the football team at WFS was not very long lived.

Today I’m taking a bit of a research break, with cowbell in hand, watching the game, and singing the MSU college yell — er, fight song. Sing along if you like!

MSU's Fight Song. Click the image to hear the Fabulous Maroon Band! Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbQ8fYlwSho

MSU’s Fight Song. Click the image to hear the Fabulous Maroon Band! Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbQ8fYlwSho

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