Traditions Rally brings Waco together

By Connor Yearsley

Slime caps, line jerseys and fireworks. That’s right, it’s time for Traditions Rally to ring in the 2012 football season as the Bears take on SMU Sunday night.

But first, the festivities will begin with free food during the student tailgate at 6:30 p.m. today at Floyd Casey Stadium.

At 7:30 p.m., join Coach Art Briles and the 2012 team inside the stadium for their official introduction.

At 8 p.m., Texas native and country musician Cory Morrow, will perform.

Morrow recently released his ninth solo album, “Vagrants and Kings,” and the Traditions Rally is at the start of his four-month tour.

Finally, at 9 p.m., the night will end with a bang, as a fireworks show will help to “fling our green and gold afar.”

Matt Burchett, director of student activities said the Traditions Rally has existed in various forms for several years at Baylor.

Formerly called Slime Night, it was eventually changed to the Traditions Rally when students began getting their slime caps and Line jerseys at Line Camp instead. This is the first year the rally has been open to the public and will not be held on Fountain Mall.

“For us, it is important to have a celebratory beginning to the football season as the newest members of the Baylor community join with faculty, staff, upperclassmen and the city of Waco to support our team and kick off another exciting year of football,” Burchett said. “The collegiate athletic experience is an expression of community, and the Traditions Rally is a great opportunity for us to connect Baylor and Waco to support the Bears.”

For him, that’s the most important part of the rally.

“Every event has its distinctiveness. I’m proud of how our students have supported our athletes, and this is the first opportunity for them to do that this year,” Burchett said.

Baylor Athletics, Student Activities, the Baylor Activities Council, Greek Life, the Interfraternity Council and Delta Tau Delta sponsor the rally.

“It’s a really collaborative effort,” Burchett said. “There are so many partners involved in the planning and implementation of the event.”

The Traditions Rally features the figurative passing of the torch to the new students as custodians of Baylor’s unique heritage, spirit and legacy.

“The passing of the torch represents the first experience for new students to join generations of the Baylor Line,” Burchett said.

To freshmen considering going to the rally, Burchett’s advice is, “Experience the fullness of Baylor. One of the things that’s distinctive about the college experience is there are a lot of things you only get to do once.”

To seniors who have never been to the rally, Burchett reminds them, “This is their last football season; only six [home] games left; enjoy every moment. It’s going to be a blast.”

Maybe this year will increase awareness about what it is and its significance.

Freshmen, wearing their slime caps and Line jerseys, should meet at the designated meeting place for their hall at 6:15 p.m. to catch the bus to Floyd Casey.

Upperclassmen, wearing their green and gold, should meet at the Bear Zone of Floyd Casey at 6:30 p.m.