Iowa State Homecoming: Three Rare Traditions


If the students aren’t participating in traditional Homecoming activities, they know all about the pep rally, Yell Like Hell, and throwing the goal post in Lake LaVerne after defeating Baylor to break a 13-game winning streak.

Nov 18, 2011; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones fans wave a flag as they take over the field following a 37-31 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-US PRESSWIRE

Some traditions aren’t really the same each year, and some have been let go completely. Three unique activities that the ISU Alumni Association listed out in their 100th anniversary write-up are either crazy, weird, or a pretty good idea. I’ll let you decide which one fits what category.

Class Break

Back in 1912 when the first Homecoming took place against Iowa, the president of then Iowa State College cancelled classes on Friday and Saturday before the game . Obviously, students wanted this tradition to continue.

In the 1930’s, students would actually get rather annoying. They would protest on Friday to have the day off and storm into classrooms to recruit others to join them in dancing in front of what is now Beardshear Hall.

1949 changed things when thousands of students chanted “NO SCHOOL FRIDAY!” on Thursday of Homecoming week. President Charles Friley gave in, giving kids the rest of the day off after noon on Friday. If the team won, then no class would be held the following Monday.

Train Wreck

Two human trains would from with students holding each other around the waist and lining up at Beardshear Hall and Curtiss Hall. Directly across from each other, the line would charge at each other when the campanile bells rang at noon. Obviously this fun but probably dangerous activity lasted from 1977 to 1982.

Push Ball

12-man teams would get together to push a “4-ft diameter, leather-covered ball from the sidelines and worked to push it in the direction of the scoring goal.” This activity first began early on in the century and was revived from approximately 1977 to 1987. Eventually, the game began to look dangerous as nobody wanted to get run over by a humongous leather ball.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Clones Confidential. Keep up with the latest sports fails and disdain toward the Big Ten by following him on Twitter.

Read his other work on the Oregon Ducks blog, Autzen Zoo, and Lacrosse the Web.