ALSO CHECK OUT: 2014 College World Series coverage
Special traditions all over the country are what binds college athletics together. Whether it's University of Michigan football playing in the Big House, or the University of Texas singing the Eyes of Texas before and after athletic events, traditions are the fabric of college athletics, something so many of us are passionate about.
With the 2014 College World Series finally here and eight teams in Omaha, Neb., vying for a national championship, we've stepped outside the box and teamed up with the Collegiate Licensing Company to feature five unique college baseball traditions throughout the action at TD Ameritrade Park.
Though there are many traditions to choose from, we start our series with an inside look at a University of Mississippi tradition that has gained quite a bit of steam over the past few seasons.
When Ole Miss current head baseball coach Mike Bianco took over the program back in 2001, attendance was rather limited and the outfield area of the stadium, viewed to your right, was anything but party central and a home-field advantage for the Rebels. Boy, has that changed over the past decade.
In addition to increasing attendance across the board for the Rebels, the left field, and right field, at Oxford-University Stadium and Swayze Field has transformed from a once quiet place to one that's raucous, loyal, and of course, always awaiting a home run, whether it's hard-hitting first baseman Sikes Orvis or center fielder Auston Bousfield.
The area of particular interest at Oxford-University Stadium is right field. Filled with hundreds of college students who are allowed to bring in their own coolers on game day -- some opting to camp out the night before -- the fan area quickly turns into an all-party as games progress.
Then comes the moment everyone has been waiting for.
When an Ole Miss player steps into the batter's box and smacks a ball over the wall in right field, almost in unison, the Rebels of right field proceed to toss all of their beverages as high as they can up in the air. Whether it's soda, water, beer, or other adult beverages, anything, and everything, goes in what the locals term the "Swayze Shower".
So, the next time you head to an Ole Miss game in Oxford, Miss., whether you're a Rebels fan, or even a fan of the opposing team, be sure to make your way out to right field, as you might just get quite an unexpected shower.
Ole Miss even makes this tradition work on the road, sans the adult beverages. As the Rebels hit a base-clearing three-RBI triple in the NCAA Super Regional series finale against Louisiana-Lafayette last weekend, I looked over to my right, where Rebels fans, young and old, were participating in an impromptu shower.
College baseball is loaded with plenty of older traditions, but this is a newer one that everyone in the community can relate to.
Here's a tip of the hat to those Rebels fans from right field. We'll see you in Omaha.