Like most established college football programs, traditions are a part of the game day atmosphere. Southern Miss has multiple entrenched traditions that fans of all ages look forward to participating in. Below are four of the most popular traditions at Southern Miss on football game day.
- Eagle Walk
The term “Eagle Walk” actually refers to two distinct but interconnected occurrences on the Southern Miss campus. The road that passes directly under the east end of MM Roberts Stadium is named the Eagle Walk, and it is tradition for the incoming freshman each fall to paint the Eagle Walk gold before each home opening football game of the season. Eagle Walk also refers to the parade that occurs along the Eagle Walk two hours before kickoff. Members of the Pride of Mississippi marching band, cheerleading squad, Dixie Darlings dance team and football team gather to walk along the Eagle Walk road to the Duff Athletic Center at the north end of the football stadium, flanked by fans on both sides. You know game time is getting close when you see crowds of fans gather along the route to catch a glimpse of Coach Hopson and their favorite football players before they take the field.
- Tailgating at the District
The District is one of the premier tailgating locations on the Southern Miss campus for football games. Alumni, Greek organizations and student groups all converge and set up their canopies on the plot of land in front of the Ogletree House hours before kickoff to enjoy the college tailgating experience. Additionally, another landmark on the eastern edge of the District is The Little Rock, an actual rock that is painted gold each week before a football game and includes messages about that week’s opponent.
- Friday Night at the Fountain
Friday Night at the Fountain is a gathering of Southern Miss students and staff on the Centennial Green and the Shoemaker Square fountain at the heart of campus. On Friday before each home game of the season, fans gather to enjoy food and entertainment from the Pride of Mississippi, cheerleaders, Dixie Darlings and Seymour d’Campus.
- The Pride of Mississippi
Founded in 1920, The Pride of Mississippi marching band has entertained Southern Miss at football games and other athletic events. According to the Southern Miss athletic department’s website, The Pride of Mississippi has also performed in front of national audiences in the past, including the Chicago World’s Fair in the 1930s and the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This season, the Pride of Mississippi will kick off the 2018 football slate with a halftime performance with Jackson State’s band, Sonic Boom of the South.