10 things you didn't know about Bowling Green

Thursday, September 10, 2009 | 1:56 p.m. CDT; updated 3:04 p.m. CDT, Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our set of Bowling Green fun facts is like the director's cut of any classic film.

Its greatness is best understood after you see what was left on the cutting room floor.

Like, did you know that the first speed limit in the town of Bowling Green was set at 8 mph in 1910? Or that students weren't allowed to have cars on campus until 1944 because people were complaining about "petters?" Or that during the 1975 homecoming festivities 3,376 people helped to break the world record for the largest conga line?

We know what you're thinking. "Seriously? The conga line didn't make it?"

And now for the top 10 things you didn't know about Bowling Green State University:

10. In 1979 a group of students in BGSU's Dunbar Hall set the record for most students stuffed into a dorm room closet when they managed to stuff 11 freshmen into 36 cubic feet of space. Whether or not the freshmen got to keep their lunch money is unclear.

9. Originally a school for teachers (the school's first graduating class consisted of 35 students, all of them elementary education majors), BGSU's original name was Bowling Green State Normal College. If that wasn't ordinary enough, the school's mascot was also the "Normals." Finally, in 1927 a local sports writer suggested they change the name to the Falcons because of the bird's fierceness and speed. And because it meant they didn't have to be the Normals.

8. In 1984 the BGSU men's hockey team defeated Minnesota-Duluth 5-4 to win the national championship. The feat isn't all that notable considering some of the other schools that have won the title (Where the heck is Rensselaer?). But the game is still the longest championship game in the history of Division I hockey, spanning four overtimes and more than two hours of actual gameplay.

7. The lyrics to the "unofficial" BGSU fight song:

Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Zoomba

Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Ze

Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Zoomba

Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Zi

Roll along, you B-G warriors

Roll along, and win for B-G-S-U.

The song is believed to be a "loose" interpretation of a Zulu war chant. Sure it is.

6. Anyone expecting another MU/mid-major-cupcake throttling at Memorial Stadium Saturday should probably know that the Tigers are 1-3 all time against Bowling Green. And that's not one of those stats that come from a time when Harvard was winning national championships and Joe Paterno had his real hips. The Falcons beat MU 51-28 in their last meeting in 2002.

5. With current Florida coach Urban Meyer at the helm at the beginning of the decade, the BGSU football program enjoyed enough prominence to gain some nationwide recognition.

But the first team to represent BGSU on a national level? The debate team.

4. Some of BGSU's famous alumni include figure skater Scott Hamilton, former major league pitcher Orel Hershiser, author James Baldwin and actor Tim Conway, formerly of The Carol Burnett Show. Conway might also be recognized for his work in Dorf Does Golf where he plays a Scandinavian with an accent that's somewhere between Mario and Hans Gruber from "Die Hard."

3. Freddie and Frieda are a brother-sister combination of Falcon mascots that can be seen at various BGSU sporting events. At the last home game of both the hockey and basketball seasons, the identity of the sets of mascots for each sport is revealed in a "beheading ceremony." The act has become a long-standing tradition at Bowling Green. They might want to rethink that name though.

2. For the past three years Bowling Green's student population represented 49 of the 50 United States. This fall a student from Idaho finally joined the fold. Finding something funny to say about Idaho is hard.

1. Nick Rose, a Bowling Green track recruit from England, accidentally boarded the wrong plane in route to the university and actually ended up in Bowling Green, Ky. Conveniently enough, that happens to be where Western Kentucky University is located, and after speaking with the WKU track coach, Rose was convinced to stay. He later placed in the mile run at the NCAA meet. In all fairness to Rose, some of us didn't know what state Bowling Green was in either.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Jenny Rogers September 11, 2009 | 4:59 p.m.

My mom went to Bowling Green. Can't wait to forward this witty bit of writing to her. Nice job!

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.