Roll Tide...Over! (copy)

Since I am one of the few people who doesn’t read my emails while driving, it gives me time to read license plates and bumper stickers.

With summer travelers coming from just about everywhere, I see new and interesting ones all over the state.

Besides everyone having the best and the brightest children and proclaiming it on their vehicles, there often are team support logos, mottos and mascots. The Badger is my mascot of choice, so when I see “On Wisconsin,” I smile.

Recently I saw “Roll Tide” and an Alabama license plate. I had no idea what that was about. I was quickly informed the rallying chant for the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide teams is “Roll Tide,” which might make sense if their mascot wasn’t an elephant.

This of course got us talking about mottos, team names and frankly, more than I wanted to know about teams and Lions and Lakers and Tigers and Trojans. How is it men know all these things, but can’t remember their aunt’s name?

We were with cousins who were visiting from Tucson, Arizona, so I learned about the rallying cry “Bear Down.” What we were not supposed to know, but I will tell you, is the law school at the University of Arizona has its own motto. Following four years of “Bear Down,” the motto for the law school, secret and unofficially, is, “Bear Down, Lawyer Up!”

Arizona State is a horse of a different color with the mascot Sun Devils. Their slogan is appropriately “Fear the Fork.” The alumni take it a step further and have chapters called “The Devil’s Advocate” and have a newsletter by the same name.

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I had heard of the Texas Longhorns as I’m not completely sports illiterate, but did not know to say “hook um’ horns” when cheering for them. There are so many catchy slogans, battle cries and chants for cheering a team on, I thought I would check out a few more and share them.

My husband has a shirt that says “Get Your Daily Dose of Iron.” It has two golf clubs on it. Not a bad motto for golf. It is a “Life is Good” shirt and for many golfers, that about sums it up. I have seen the one “Golf, the most expensive walk you’ll ever take,” which seems more appropriate.

“Be Prepared!” is a universal motivational motto, and can apply to almost anything in sports and in life. “Refuse to lose” is another. “Reaching high keeps players on their toes” is another fairly common one for a number of sports. In Rugby “ruck and roll” is pretty catchy, and “East or West cricket is best” seems a bit arrogant, but memorable. I never knew bowling had a slogan but “try it, you’ll strike it” is quite clever.

Badminton has its own humor in “Lord of the Strings” and “give your opponent the bird.” “Badminton, no less than ninja” might be carrying it a bit too far, but who are we to judge? And who wouldn’t smile at “I’d rather throw ya than know ya” for wrestling. This isn’t a cheer, but then, neither is “gotta’ hook um’ to cook um’” for those fishers out there.

“I swim because I am too sexy for sports that require clothes” and “real athletes swim — the rest just play games” tell us a lot about swimmers. And for all you bridge players out there, “May the fourth be with you.” For all the rest of us, “got game?” “Play hard!”

The motivational quips that start with “stay calm” have been around a long time. This originated in England when the British produced the very proper and sensible “keep calm and carry on.” In 1939, in preparation for World War II, this stiff upper lip morale booster was on posters and represented self-discipline and fortitude. I like it almost as much as “On Wisconsin.”

Kay Stellpflug is an educator and trainer in interpersonal and professional communications. She works and lives in Beaver Dam and can be reached at kaystellpflug@gmail.com.

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