Last night marked the first time that the Baylor Traditions Rally was ever held at Floyd Casey Stadium. In previous years it had been held on campus and only open to Baylor students. The last couple years the rally has gotten so big that they decided to move it to FCS and open it to the entire Waco community. Although I have no idea what the exact attendance numbers were, about one-third to one-half of the home side of the stadium was covered. Mostly lower sections, but a nice turnout nonetheless. The rally consisted of teaching the traditions of football games to new students, an hour-long concert by Cory Morrow, and a dazzling fireworks show to conclude the evening.
The rally started off with a barbecue for any and all students and was followed by teaching students (I guess mainly freshman) all of the chants and cheers that will be yelled "rowdy, proud, and obnoxiously" throughout the game. While I’ve had these chants thrown at me for hours on end at orientation, line camp, and welcome week, I’m hoping my fellow classmates have them memorized as much I do now.
Five players got up to talk to from the football team at the rally. Those being junior starting safety Sam Holl, sophomore starting middle linebacker Bryce Hager, back up senior guard Cameron Kaufhold, senior starting running back Jarred Salubi, and senior starting wide receiver Lanear Sampson. Each hit a few talking points while up on stage to try and pump up the crowd and get more excitement flowing through everyone for the game tomorrow.Some notes from each speaker at the event, Sam Holl couldn’t really figure out how to not yell into the microphone and almost blow the speakers out, but he did stress that the defense was going to be better. Also, when posed the question which side of the ball is better, Holl responded with while the offense may fill seats, it’s the defense that wins championships.
Bryce Hager alluded to a lot of the same things as Holl, just in a fashion to where he wasn’t yelling through the microphone. Although Hager did harp on that he believes there will be much more speed in this year’s defense in comparison to last year.
Cameron Kaufhold seemed to be the odd one out on stage. He seemed a little awkward up there, but started having more fun with it as time went on. His main point to get the crowd enthused for tomorrow is when he commented that SMU is a defensive minded team (I disagree, but he was rolling) and that it didn’t matter what the Mustangs came out in on defense, him and the rest of the Baylor offensive line were going to dominate the game all night.
Jarred Salubi made it a point to say that there is going to be a lot of running in the attack tomorrow.
Last but certainly not least, Lanear Sampson’s main talking points involved the offense being the better side of the ball (he laughed a little at the question along with Salubi) and that despite losing starters at running back, receiver, and their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, this team is still going to be good. I definitely agree with him on that.
Cory Morrow was put on by the Delta Tau Delta fraternity here at Baylor and put on a pretty good show. I had never heard of Morrow before, but anyone who throws sic’ems in the middle of a song and supposedly names their son Bear in honor of the University is fine with me.
Lastly, the firework show put on was surprising to a lot in attendance of how good it was. Big booming fireworks went up behind the stadium while flares and anything else imaginable were shot out on the opposite side bleachers. Something everyone around me, and everyone still at Floyd Casey thought was really cool looking.