The History of the Walk of Champions

Saturday’s in the fall, especially in the South, are saved for college football: a place filled with special moments and special traditions that steal our hearts.

Photo by Megan Suttles

College campuses all throughout the country have gameday traditions. Some of the SEC traditions include Arkansas’s “calling the hogs,” Auburn’s War Eagle that flies around the stadium before the game, Georgia’s Uga, the English bulldog, Texas A&M’s 12th man, and Tennessee’s Running through the “T.”

 

For Ole Miss fans, there is one tradition that stands out above the rest. It brings the football players right into the heart of Rebel Nation. It’s known as the Walk of Champions.

 

About 2 hours before every home football game, the Ole Miss Rebels walk through the Grove where their fans are waiting to greet them wearing their best and in Red and Blue while “Are You Ready” rolls through the Grove.

Photo by The Ole Miss 2017 staff

The History*

While trying to find a way for his team to experience the wonder that is the Grove on a Saturday, in 1983, Billy Brewer would take a different route every home game Saturday, starting at the old athletic dorm, Kinard Hall, and lead them to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

 

In 1985, he started taking the same route every week. The same route that the Rebels still take to this day, walking from the Student Union, through the Grove, all the way to the stadium. Fans lined the path on both sides and some even gave high fives to their favorite players as they walked through the Grove.

Photo by Ariel Cobbert

The Arch

The 1962 Rebel football team gave the school the picturesque “Walk of Champions” arch in 1998. This team was the only Ole Miss team to ever have a perfect record. They also won an SEC title that year.

 

This tradition has been seen throughout the country and people come from all over to witness this special part of gameday at Ole Miss.

 

I have been attending Ole Miss football games and tailgating in the Grove for about 5 seasons now and the Walk of Champions always makes gameday feel so much more special. It’s an added bonus to be able to share your Grove experience with the very players that you spend all day to see.

 

*The history information is taken from olemisssports.com

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Ashlee Smith

Ashlee is a senior Broadcast Journalism major from Lake Charles, Louisiana. You can usually find her behind a TV camera at a sporting event or in front of a computer creating videos. When she’s not writing or creating, you can find her with her friends and family, at church, watching any romantic comedy, or watching her Dad coach the Ole Miss Softball Team.