It’s Kickoff Time Which Means Football is Here Again!

It’s Almost Kickoff Time!

Phyllis Lifestyle 19 Comments

Oh, I could write pages about this subject! When my siblings and I were kids, Mom and Dad would take us to Friday night football games, and if Dad had tickets to the Alabama game, we’d go again on Saturday. I asked him why he took us to the game, and he said with a smile, “It was cheaper than a babysitter.” Great answer!

Now, we chuckle as we share our adventures about going to a college football game “back then.” We dressed up for the games, too. I am talking suit, heels, and matching purse. Young people today don’t believe this but it was for every game, not just homecoming.

Oh my goodness, I remember baking in the sun during the October Alabama-Tennessee game when I was in junior high school. I was actually born on the third Saturday in October when Alabama was playing Tennessee, so that game has a special meaning in our house. We always wanted to go.

For this particular day, Mom made suits for my sister and I. The temperatures soared to the 90s. I don’t have the words to describe the feeling of melting panty hose on my legs, but all I know is it was the longest game in football history. I thought it would never end. From then on, we prayed for icy cold days.

I always dreamed of having a football mum corsage that the college girls would wear on game day. The large blossom perched on the shoulder of the lucky recipient and the long, streaming ribbons usually waved in the breeze when the girls passed by us. The center of the corsage was decorated with the school initials…how perfect. Each date wore a suit and tie, and each couple both held little shakers to use during the cheers.

Dad usually got Mom a mum on homecoming as she sported her newly made outfit. I can’t remember what my brother wore, but you can bet he didn’t have on the tie if he could get away with it. He studied the players and knew their numbers and positions. My sister and I were there predominantly to watch the fashions as they paraded by us, noting the ones we wanted Mom to copy for us.

By the time I got to college, many traditions had faded away. Now, Neal and I watch the games on TV as the instant replay and homemade snacks have great appeal. I love football and all that surrounds it.

What are your favorite memories or traditions surrounding fall football?

Comments 19

  1. I don’t ever remember seeing mums at football games in So Calif, it certainly looks like a fun tradition. Since so many wonderful Southern traditions are making their way across the country perhaps this one will, too. Also, no one ever dressed up for a game unless you were part of the homecoming court. Now I see that several online retailers sell dresses in school colors, something else totally lost on the West coast.

  2. Oh my!….the memories that came flooding back. Those huge mums . . . in high school it was a tradition on Homecoming Day for a guy to gift someone he was fond of with a mum…..I hate to admit this, but in my senior year I received 4 mum corsages! I felt like a walking mum…but by the end of the day, I shared 2 of them with those who did not have one. I so remember going to my first college game in “The Swamp” ~ no boo’s please ~ in a lavender tweed suit and heels and my future hubby in a sport coat/blazer. That was the last year of the “no pants” policy..I even remember some wearing gloves. Well I just dated myself…I so love watching college football…there is nothing like it! Thank you for taking me down memory lane!

  3. So many wonderful football related memories from childhood through college to reunions…

    Some of my earliest memories are football evenings with my parents. Looking back I realize that they and their peers had given up so much of their lives to fight a war that perhaps those games were one way to feel carefree for awhile? Daddy always brought Mother a real mum with long streamers for Homcoming and he always had a miniature of hers made for me.

    In high school and college we always wore new outfits for Homecoming and our mums had to have long streamers – the longer the better. Win or lose, we always wore them to church Sunday morning; although, some if the petals had usually begun to slip through the little net covering by then.

    Today at Homecoming, the dear elderly owner of our tradition local florist provides a few real mums for the ladies of a certain age…

    In the midst of concerns about Harvey, thank you Phyllis for providing a forum for Ribbon Friends share fond memories…

  4. The best sports season of all…football season! I was a UGA gal, and we sorority girls also made certain that the pin was “strategically” placed and the chain dangled…always on a dress or sweater with heels and a corsage in the late 60s. Everything began changing my sophomore year in 1969 with the sit-ins and no more curfew for girls…ahhh, I missed by freshman year, even with its rules for girls (not for guys, you understand!!! LOL!!!)

    Also love the games on tv today!

  5. Such great days and wonderful memories. No stadium on earth like Death Valley at Clemson University in Clemson S.C. All dressed up in our orange suits, with purple and white accents. A purple mum corsage with a orange tiger paw on the middle and orange and purple ribbons. A sea of orange while the tigers ran down the hill to start the exciting game. Tailgating was such fun at Clemson, and still is but we don’t go often to games now. We went to every game for over 25 years. Now we have retired to our sofa on game day to watch the action on our tv, and tail gate in the living room. But what wonderful memories we have of those football games. Go Tigers!! Peggy

  6. I remember always making a velvet dress for football homecoming and yes, the corsage that matched it from my date. There was always a little gold football in the middle of the flowers. I particularly remember a butterscotch velvet dress. It was perfect for fall. Thanks for bringing back those memories.

  7. In Northern California being a 49er fan, and back in the day when they played everyone wore their sweatshirts, hats and sweatpants in grocery stores, restaurants and all public places. We were all crazy Joe Namith fans, oh those were the good ole days……and we all bet on boards, $1, $5, and $10 boards at work on Super Bowl Sunday, we still have a block party here in Cameron Park, football means fall is coming and we can’t wait as the season begins….Go Niners! California Carmel

  8. I also remember those days very well. Every weekend, as long as the game was played in Auburn (War Eagle), Birmingham (back then all Auburn/Alabama games were played in Birmingham), Atlanta and Athens, Georgia. Some of my favorite childhood memories are from football day and tail gating.

    We too now enjoy watching on TV and enjoying dinner at home.

    We attended a game in Auburn several years ago in September and I thought I was going to have a heat stroke. Glad we don’t have to dress up any more.

    War Eagle!!!

  9. Ah, Phyllis ~ A girl after my own heart! I was never lucky enough to go to too many college games, but I do remember the dressing up and the heels that killed my feet by the time I got to my seat from the ones I did attend. I also remember someone pouring a cup of hot chocolate down the back of my new beige coat with a mink collar, and it ruining the coat! I am an avid Alabama fan, and I cannot wait to spend the next ? Saturdays 3 feet from the
    TV screen yelling my head off!!! Roll Tide Roll!!!!!

  10. Perhaps I’m older than most readers, but I remember buying that wool skirt and sweater set to wear to the first high school football game in September. Now they start in August! It was actually much cooler then than it is now in September!
    After the Friday night games, the high schools headed downtown to the auditorium for the Big Nine dance.
    Homecoming, pep rallies, mum corsages, bonfires, cheerleaders and those football ” heroes” are all wonderful memories.
    I’m sure that this generation will have their memories as well.
    Thank you, Phyllis, for once again making me stop and reminisce about my “good ol’ days”.

  11. Reading all these posts just warms my heart! There’s just something so special about all the traditions and camaraderie that football encompasses! Wish all of us could share a college tailgate together sometime! Wouldn’t that be fun!!!

  12. Oh, Phyllis, what great memories! Yes, I would put on the wool navy blue suit and had the mum coursage. After college, my friend Carol Fisk and I would head to Dick Schulman’s (fine ladies apparel) and spend an entire paycheck on an outfit and shoes for the Tennessee homecoming game. As you said, sit in sweltering heat with our wool clothes. We would have to make many bathroom runs just to cool down. What fun to remember..thank you! I am a North Carolina Tarheel and my veins bleed blue!

  13. Favorite memories of high school and college football dates? Why, the dates, of course! Not to mention the fashion parade of simple wool suits worn with the ubiquitous yellow mum with streaming ribbons sporting the colors of the particular school–in my case, burgundy or maroon for both Pensacola High and Florida State. My husband’s school colors were the blue and orange of the University of Florida. For his home coming as a newly wed, I proudly wore his colors in a plaid sheath dress I fashioned. Onto my left shoulder he pinned on a dyed-orange mum with the requisite blue ribbons. I fit right in with the college debs that afternoon.

  14. My high school did not offer football so I was never interested in it but when I graduated I went to live with an Aunt in Baltimore where John Unitas was the quarterback for their Colts team. My cousins were crazy fans and I began to be interested. Years pasted and a boyfriend took me to a game in Miama to see the Dolphins. Can you say hooked? Yeap, hook line and sinker! I married that boyfriend and we were regulars at the University of Colorado in Boulder where the mascot is Ralphie (a female buffalo). CU changed conferences and we no longer got to play Nebraska which was THE game of the year. Such disappointment that we no longer attend but we do sit in comfort in our home and enjoy the college and professional games, especially the Broncos.

  15. Forgot to add that I did go to a football game at the Naval Academy at Annapolis once and had a great time. The fans there were so kind and welcoming even though I pestered them with questions about the game and was the only person in my section cheering for the U. S. Air Force team, (my father was in the Air Force), and my team won the game. It was a wonderful day.

  16. We are big baseball fans in my house and our favorite thing to hear is that pitchers and catchers have reported for spring training. That means “Play Ball!” will soon be heard. A good hot dogs, peanuts in the shell, and a baseball cap sundae…that’s summer for me!

  17. What great memories. We moved to the town of my alma mater just before we retired. What a great thing. There is always something going on and you feel a part of the festivities. I read an article in a business magazine about colleges encouraging retired alumni to move back. I wholeheartedly endorse this idea. Especially if it happens to be a lovely Southern town like here in Hammond Louisiana. Go Lions!

  18. Good Morning Phyllis, I had forgotten about the mum corsages. I loved receiving one and wearing it to the homecoming games. While my husband and I attended the University, our football team was going through a “building period” and often the scores were lopsided and not in our favor. However, the marching band at half time was amazing and our spirits soared as we watched the band play and perform. What good memories you’ve brought back!

    1. How true!! Don’t you miss the marching bands and the wonderful halftime shows they work so hard to put together for all to enjoy? Now when watching the games on TV they always go to other scores around the country — we’d love to see — and hear — more of the marching bands!
      Today is a very special day for my alma mater — Colorado State University plays their very first game in their brand new, beautiful stadium, built right on campus!! We can’t wait!
      Thanks, Phyllis, for always reminding us of positive and good memories!

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