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Rebel Traditions

Ole Miss Rebel Traditions

"Ole Miss"

"Rebels"

The University's nickname - Ole Miss - became part of University in 1896, when it was selected in a contest held to identify a new name for the yearbook. The name was suggested by the late Miss Elma Meek of Oxford. Each succeeding issue of the annual has been given this copyrighted identity.

The name gradually became synonymous with the University and is now a treasured segment of University history. The late Frank E. Everett, Jr., B.A. '32, LLB '34, put it best when he wrote:

There is a valid distinction between The University and Ole Miss even though the separate threads are closely interwoven.

The University is buildings, trees and people. Ole Miss is mood, emotion and personality. One is physical, and the other is spiritual. One is tangible, and the other intangible.

The University is respected, but Ole Miss is loved. The University gives a diploma and regretfully terminates tenure, but one never graduates from Ole Miss.

The name Rebels as Ole Miss' official athletic nickname emerged in 1936. Suggested by Judge Ben Guider of Vicksburg, it was one of five entries submitted to Southern sports writers for final selection from a list totaling more than 200 proposed nicknames. The promotion was a contest sponsored by The Mississippian, student newspaper. Of the 42 newsmen contacted, 21 responded. "Rebels" was the choice of 18. The University Athletic Committee made the name official with the Committee chairman, the late Judge William Hemingway, stating: "If 18 sports writers wish to use 'Rebels', I shall not rebel, so let it go 'Ole Miss Rebels.'"

Two years later, the yearbook appeared as "The Rebel Number" with "Colonel Reb" making a new entrance as the publication's leading illustration. "Colonel Rebel" has since become a near-official University insignia.

Ole Miss Colonel Reb logo

Hotty Toddy

Ole Miss Colors

The exact origin of Hotty Toddy is not known and appears to be a cheer developed from the 1930s. It goes:

Are you ready? Hell yes! Damn Right!
Hotty Toddy, Gosh almighty
Who in the hell are we - Hey
Flim Flam, Bim Bam
Ole Miss By Damn!

Click to here to listen to Hotty Toddy

In 1893, when Ole Miss' first football team was in training for a five-game season, Dr. A.L. Bondurant, organizer and manager-coach, later recalled that "The team had much discussion as to the colors that should be adopted, but it was finally suggested by the manager that the union of the Crimson of Harvard and the Navy Blue of Yale would be very harmonious, and that it was well to have the spirit of both of these good colleges." These were adopted as the football colors, and have since been adopted by the University as its athletic colors. The PMS numbers for the Ole Miss red and blue are as follows: Red 199, Blue 280 or Reflex Blue.

Ole Miss logo

Walk of the Champions

Several hours before every home football game, the Ole Miss football team and coaches walk from the Student Union under the Walk of Champions arch and through the Grove on their way to their way to the Starnes Training Center and the game. Cheered by Ole Miss fans the entire way, it is another experience that adds to the game day excitement.

The Grove

When Billy Brewer became head football coach at Ole Miss in 1983, he was searching for a way to allow his team to experience the atmosphere and pageantry Rebel fans enjoyed in The Grove while tailgating on gameday. The Grove is a 10-acre grassy plot of ground in the center of campus which is heavily shaded by large oak trees.

Click here for a live shot of the Grove

Taking a different route two hours before kickoff each home game Saturday, Brewer would walk with the team from Kinard Hall, the athletic dormitory, across campus to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

In 1985, Brewer started going the same route each Saturday as the team would break The Grove on the east side of the Student Union and then proceed down a sidewalk which runs through The Grove. Ole Miss fans fight for position on both sides of the sidewalk and greet the players with loud cheers. The braver fans even reach out and touch the players as they pass before them.

In the fall of 1998, a "Walk of Champions" arch was erected on the east side of the The Grove, where the Rebel players begin their walk for every Saturday home game. The "Walk of Champions" arch was given to the University by the 1962 Rebel football team, which is the only squad in Ole Miss football history to finish a campaign with a perfect record (10-0). The 1962 team won the SEC title and was also named National Champion by the Litkenhous Ratings.

What has become a tradition on Ole Miss football Saturdays continues under Rebel head coach David Cutcliffe.

The entire Grove experience at Ole Miss is truly one of the outstanding college football traditions in the South and nationwide.

Chucky Mullins

Click here for information about Chucky Mullins and the Chucky Mullins Courage Award.

Ole Miss NEWS

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