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Friday, September 23, 2011

Know Your Foe - San Diego State

Special thanks to all who helped keep the MZone chugging alone this week whilst The Man was holding me down.  The help continues today with Ron submitting the San Diego State edition of Know Your Foe.

The Michigan Wolverines (3-0) host the San Diego State Aztecs (3-0) at the Big House this weekend, in a battle of unbeaten teams.  This matchup has special significance since U-M's Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator left SDSU to come to Michigan last January (causing former SDSU football player Kyle Turley's head to nearly explode).  The schools have only met one other time, in 2004, with the Wolverines winning 24-21. So it's time to learn more amazing facts in this week's exciting edition of Know Your Foe.

History: Founded in 1897 as San Diego Normal School (uh, what's with all the "normal" school founding names?), SDSU is the largest and oldest higher education facility in the greater San Diego area as well as one of the oldest universities in California. It started out primarily educating future elementary school teachers and even became San Diego State Teachers College in 1923, run by the State Board of Education.  The school then dropped "Teachers" from its title in 1935, and in 1970, became San Diego State University.

Location: Located just off I-8 in San Diego, CA, the campus overlooks Mission Valley. The campus has a plethora of old historic buildings, including the Aztec Bowl, the school's former football stadium that only held 12,592 people (or as that's known at the Big House: the # of people waiting to go to the bathroom at any given time in Section 7) and the Hardy Memorial Tower, which holds a 5000 gallon water tank that provided pressure for the campus plumbing system.

According to College Prowler, the weather and the local atmosphere are among the highlights.

Nickname Fortunately, after going through several god-awful nicknames like  "Normalites," "Professors," and "Wampus Cats," (okay, we like that one) SDSU came to their senses in 1924 and a committee selected Aztecs. 

Mascot: Monty Montezuma, intended to represent the Aztec emperor, was the first mascot, though unofficial. According the University President, "The original Monty came out of a teepee and chased co-eds around, if you can imagine that." (Uh, we not only can, but still wish it was happening.  MEMO TO DAVE BRANDON: You come up with a mascot that chases co-eds, the MZone might be able to support that). In 2003, the students and alumni elected a more generic and historically accurate Aztec warrior as the official mascot. This did not end the controversy, with many student groups calling it racist. As someone mentioned on MGOBLOG, I guess the NCAA is okay with Native Mexican Mascots, but not Native American Mascots.

Colors/Logo/Helmets: After having colors that were too close to a local high school, in 1928, SDSU students voted and, by a vote of 346-201, Scarlet and Black beat out Purple and Gold to become the official school colors.  No word if Turley is still pissed about this, too.

According to the official SDSU athletic website, "One of San Diego State's most honored traditions is the all-black uniform the Aztecs wear when playing at home. The "look" has become as much a part of Aztec football as the forward pass. In fact, the concept was the brainchild of the man who brought the modern passing game not only to San Diego State, but to college football - Don Coryell."

Couldn't find much history on the logo. They have a couple for the athletic teams. The one on the left is pretty good.  The one on the right is...the one on the right.


Fight Song: In 1936, the school President asked music department junior Frank J. Losey to become the school's band director and also come up with a new school fight song (what did you do your junior year?).  Losey wrote the original lyrics at his parents' dinner table (thus explaining the mustard stains on the sheet music).

Losey's lyrics have evolved over time into the present lyrics sung by the football team in the locker room after each victory.

SDSU Fight Song 

Fight on and on ye Aztec men
Sons of Montezuma
We will win again
Keep your spirits high
Never bow a knee
We will fight till victory

Fight on and on ye Aztec men
Proudly raise your banners high
For it's the Red and Black
Hail to our team
San Diego Aztecs fight! 

ED. NOTE:  For the record, the MZone thinks it's really a bad idea to have someone with the word "Lose" in their name write your school's fight song.

Traditions: Two unique traditions came up during my research. First, "S" Mountain. Started in 1931, rocks were painted to form a gigantic "S" on Cowles Mountain and lit at night by the freshman for the opening game of the season.  Pretty cool.  But not as cool as number two...

An undie run. It's just like it sounds: students strip down at midnight and run across campus. The pics and video fit right in at the Mzone (and you thought you were gonna get stuck with "S" Mountain pix).

Football program: SDSU had great success before moving to D1 status.  They have won thirteen conference championships and three national championships (pre-D1).

A member of the Mountain West Conference, the Aztecs play their home games at Qualcomm Stadium, which has a tad more than 12,000 seats. They've played in 9 bowls since 1948, including last year at the Poinsetta Bowl, which was a victory over Navy.

Other Athletics:They carry most of the common varsity sports, have quite few conference and National championships as well. Not a bad history at all.

Famous Alumni: SDSU's list of notable alums include founder of Jack and the Box, Marion "Mrs. C" Ross, Carl "Apollo Creed" Weathers, Raquel "Look at those!" Welch, terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, and Ted Giannoulas -- the San Diego Chicken.  Most importantly: no astronauts, no Presidents.

The Game: This figures to be a real test for both the D and the offense. We better not start slow or we could be in trouble. But still, in Denard we trust:

Michigan 35
Sand Diego State 10


616goblue said...

I can overlook no mention of astronauts and US Presidents because of the outstanding coverage of the "undie run."

Space bitches, space.


Bigasshammm said...

That certainly was a HOT butt. Quite literally.

This game has me nervous

Mikoyan said...

I think the San Diego Chicken is now known as the Famous Chicken or something like that.

But as always, pretty cool.

Mikoyan said...

Oh and why were they called Normal schools:
"Because they taught the teaching 'method'

The term used a secondary definition of the word "normal" which referred to "model" or "pattern". The word "normal" can be defined as: Conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type; typical. "Normal school - "A school whose methods of instruction are to serve as a model for imitation; an institution for the training of teachers." Normal schools typically offered a 2-year course of instruction."

This came from Yahoo Answers but it sounded reasonable.

susieandrew said...

kinda makes you wonder why that dude taking a picture with his cellphone in the third photo is wearing a diaper...

SierraSpartan said...

@ Mikoyan - too complicated.

SDSU started off its life as the San Diego Normal School, one of the southern branch offshoots of what is now San Jose State University. Until they made the change, that was their slug; pretty much the same as was the case with SJSU until our students selected "Golden Raiders" in the 1920s then "Spartans" in the 1930s.

Oh, and given the choice between "space" and the "undie run," gimme the undies every day of the week, twice on Sunday.

Now, if the gals up in A2 want to pull off a wintertime version of the undie run, then we'll talk.

616goblue said...

@sierra spartan,

apparently you have forgotten the Naked Mile in Ann Arbor which is vastly superior to the undie run, just saying...

JamesD'Troy said...

Ok, this edition of 'Know Your Foe' was a good start but writing as someone who grew up in San Diego let me humbly add the following;

Alumni: baseball great Tony Gwynn, Simpsons voice actress Julie Kavner aka Marge, and porn star Mika Tan.

Football program: Despite being in the 8th largest city in America and blessed with the best weather in America one would think that the Aztecs would consistently field halfway decent teams in many sports. Yet, despite all these advantages the Aztecs have been underwhelming over their athletic history, to put it mildly.

Usually, any kid with talent usually leaves town eg. Junior Seau, Reggie Bush, Bill Walton, Marcus Allen, and Rashan Salaam-just to name a few.

Traditions: The 'Undie Run' must be relatively recent as I don't remember it occurring during my youth-late 80's/early 90's. And I absolutely would have remembered something like that. Heck, it would have been a my own personal high holy holiday. Also, as much as it pains me to state this, UCLA's Undie Run is better. Don't misunderstand me, SDSU's talent is fine, but it's not Arizona State. No, SDSU was always best known for pretty good house parties. Even in high school, (actually middle school now that I think about it) I used sneak into SDSU parties and had a great time which was always more convenient, safer, and easier to do than going across the border to Tijuana.

Mascot: Totally agree. The NCAA isn't fine with NA warrior mascots who idealize bravery but is fine with Mexican mascots whose historical antecedents ritually slaughtered up to 84,000 a day.

Yost said...

Good stuff, JDT.

beast in 'bama said...

When was this game scheduled? I'm assuming at least a couple of years ago, as is the case with most big-time college football schedules.

Is it now the ultimate irony? A game originally scheduled as a courtesy for Brady Hoke - former UM assistant now up-and-coming head coach @ SDSU? Hoke (and the assistants who came with him to Ann Arbor) cannot like coaching this game against kids he recruited to SDSU.

Mikoyan said...

I hate the NCAA and their beef with Native American Mascots. How come they aren't all over Notre Dame about their mascot? At least the Chippewas and Seminoles told them where they can stick their sanctimoniousness.

The NCAA: We can't sanction big schools but we can bitch about Native American Mascots...

John said...

The girl on the skateboard was not wearing a helmet. Very irresponsible and not a good example for our youth

LB said...

One minor correction.

Ellen Ochoa, Class of '80 is not only an astronaut with four shuttle missions to her credit, she is also currently the Deputy Director of Johnson Space Center.

Space, bitches. And Surf. And Skateboarding college students in their underwear. Oh sure, we may suffer the occasional implosion on the athletic field, but we can find ways to ease our suffering.

Now if you don't mind, we'll quickly take that [Dr. Evil voice on]$1 millllion dollars [Dr. Evil voice off] and slink off after that horrendous lack of performance on the fieldturf of the Big House. Small unmarked bills, please. We're gonna go down to TJ and drink this one off. (hmmm, I wonder if the Donkey Show runs on Sundays)