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Tailgates, rituals and attire: University of Mississippi

Saturday, November 26, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CST
University of Mississippi football fans tailgate at The Grove, a large tailgate area in the center of the university's campus, which is shaded by oak, elm, and magnolia trees, before the 2010 game against Fresno State.

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI

Hometown: Oxford

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Team: Rebels

Colors: Harvard red and Yale blue

Tailgating: A common saying among Ole Miss fans goes like this: "We may not win every game, but we've never lost a party."

Ole Miss is famous for tailgating in The Grove, a large grassy area that becomes a tent city on football weekend.

"You can't have an open fire or plug in electricity at Ole Miss," said Randy Yates, a partner in Ajax Diner on Courthouse Square.

"People have generators and big screen TVs and satellite dishes. They bring candelabras and lanterns. A lot of people like to really do it up. It has become kind of a contest."

Businesses are hired to put up and tear down tailgates, he said. Oxford is a town about 18,000, but on SEC game day, it's a town of about 100,000, he said.

Food: Classic barbecue, chicken, hamburgers, tenderloin, crawfish, breakfast casseroles and jambalaya.

"Sure, some have sandwiches, but there is no limit to what people serve," said Terry Warren, owner of Rebel Rags, an Ole Miss merchandiser in Oxford.

Attire: Ole Miss loves to dress up, but it's not a requirement. 

"The students wear coat and tie," Warren said. "The ladies wear extremely fancy dress. We don't wear a lot of jerseys, but there are some T-shirts.

"You wear school colors. Really, you can see anything in The Grove. It's like going to a fancy dance."

Rituals: The cheer at Ole Miss is "Hotty Toddy" and is usually initiated by a celebrity or public figure at a football game:

"Are you ready? / Hell, yes! Damn Right! / Hotty Toddy, Gosh almighty / Who the hell are we, Hey! / Flim Flam, Bim Bam / Ole Miss by damn!"

Next: Mississippi State University

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