For those who do not know me personally, I was a member of the Texas Tech Saddle Tramps. I was grateful to be a part of this proud tradition my freshman year to December of my senior year. The memories I have of being a Saddle Tramp on Tech gamedays are ones I will cherish forever.
If you are not familiar with this organization, the Saddle Tramps were founded in 1936 by Arch Lamb, Paul "Grandma" Bowers, and Bud Thompson. These three men wanted to create a student organization responsible for upholding traditions of the university. This includes all the traditions you see on gamedays during football season.
Gamedays start with us meeting at the tunnel that leads to the field at Jones AT&T Stadium. We all check in and bring our essential items to the field. This includes our cowbells, the shotguns, the push-up board, and the well-known big bell Bangin' Bertha.
Next we all head to our assigned seating located in the first few rows of the student section. There's a long waiting period before kickoff as we prepare for the excitement. This includes cheering on the team as they head onto the field for warmups.
It's less than half an hour before the coin toss and we all head onto the field to prepare for our legendary bell circle. We line up on both sides of the tunnel anticipating the arrival of coach Kingsbury and the team. We chant "Go, Fight, Win" with the whole stadium, ringing our bells as the Masked Rider leads the players onto the field.
It's finally our time in the spotlight as we race to form our bell circle. We all take a knee and ring our bells as the stadium chants with us "Go Tech Go", "Fight Tech Fight", "Win Tech Win". Then we all take off and head towards the corner of the student section and start jumping and cheering to get ourselves fired up.
I can remember getting goosebumps every time I participated in the bell circle. From my freshman year to my senior year, I had that same feeling. It was my favorite part of being a Saddle Tramp on gameday.
The opening kickoff is nothing short of exciting as tortillas come flying from the student section. It's time to start ringing our bells in the stands and cheer on the Red Raiders. The student section sings "Fight Raiders Fight" with us as Patrick Mahomes and the high-powered Tech offense take the field.
Cowbells are rung, shots are fired, push-ups are done, and students cheer "Raider Power" for the next three hours as Tech approaches another win at the Jones. It's the fourth quarter and we send a few of our members to the bell tower in preparation for the ringing of the victory bells.
The final shot is fired from the shotguns and the clock hits zero as Tech captures another win at home. We ring our cowbells on the field one last time as the Red Raiders head to the locker room. We gather up all of our items and head back up the tunnel. All that's left to do, is head to the bell tower to celebrate another win as the victory bells ring for all of the campus to hear.