Sports | October 26th, 2023
Where’s the Cannon? FAMU’s Home Game Missing Tradition
By: Nicholas Adams
Every level of football, Pro, College, and High School, has traditions, new and old, that add to the football experience. According to The Bleacher Report, college football is known for its grand historical traditions and pageantry. There are hundreds of football traditions for college players, students, and fans to enjoy. The 49ers have their foghorn, Florida State has their Seminole chant, and even high schools like Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, FL, have their Trojan Rock.
FAMU is not a stranger to these traditions; for almost everything FAMU students do on campus, there is already a certain way for it to be done. Famuly strolls, homecoming, and even what we eat on Wednesdays. Knowing that we hold our traditions dear as a Famuly, why should our football traditions change?
These traditions unite the university, flying under one banner, especially on Saturday. The strolls, comradery, and watching the Rattlers play on the gridiron. Fighting tooth and nail to ensure victory. With every score towards the win celebrated with an unforgetting thunder. The cannon fires off, reminding the fans and the opposing team that this is Bragg Stadium.
Even though the Rattlers have two back-to-back home wins, there is a lack of energy from the fans. Instead of thunder with every score, silence, the absence of the cannon is taking its toll. The cannon usually sounds off for the national anthem, and after the Rattlers scored, followed by the Marching 100 playing our victory anthem.
During the 220 Quarterback Club weekly luncheon, the new Athletic Director, Tiffani Dawn Sykes, went on record speaking about the absence of the cannon. She said, “My first week here I started getting emails about people saying they just did not like the cannon,and over a course of months an overwhelming number of people that said they were impacted in some way by the cannon.”
She acknowledged the few people who asked for the cannon but compared to the larger amount of people advocating against the cannon. This led to her decision not to engage the cannon, but she also added that the cannon was not completely off the table.
Alumni & Student
Lieutenant Colonel Christopher E. Everett is an alumnus and the current Professor of Military Science for the Army ROTC program on the FAMU campus. When asked to comment on the Athletic Director’s statement about the cannon, he said he could not publicly disclose the issues on why the cannon is not in use for the games. Even with supposed public influence being the reason for the cannon’s removal. As an alumnus and fan of the game, he commented, “The cannon is a part of the game…it’s tradition.”
Aniyah Anderson-Cooper, a third-year pre-physical therapy student here at FAMU and a 2023 orientation leader, has enjoyed the FAMU experience since her freshman semester. She enjoyed the cannon, believing that it, too created the experience we Bragg different about.
“Without the cannon, I feel like something is missing from our home…playing at home is an advantage anyways, and the cannon added another level of spirit that put us on the radar, said Anderson-Cooper. “The student section is hyped, but the cannon put us over the top without it. It is like we are missing a piece of our own heritage”
Gary Monroe, also a third-year student at FAMU, believed that the cannon added to the game experience and that we are missing something now that there is no boom after a score.
“The cannon added to the game, everyone can score a touchdown, but the cannon showed nobody could score like the Rattlers can,” Monroe said.
Alumni and students alike have a shared agreement that FAMU’s cannon not only adds to the experience of the game but is one of our most explosive traditions. So when the dark clouds gather on the horizon, will we still have the unforgettable thunder that blows from the cannon?