Chickens and Bulldogs: The Emotion Behind the Battle

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Chickens and Bulldogs: The Emotion Behind the Battle

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For the past 37 years, there has been one day that proves more important for Timpview than any other, the rivalry football game. Both the home and visitor student sections are packed tightly with spirited, face painted students determined their team will win. They all wear orange, blue and white, bring pom-poms, feathery boas, horns, orange cowboy hats and more. The cheering never ends. They throw their arms around each other and jump around, pulling hair and stepping on feet, but all the while showing tremendous school spirit. There is no sitting in the student section.  Their hands stay cupped around their mouths in hopes to increase their volume.

Although many of these students are truly extreme school spirit enthusiasts, the same students who don’t typically care for football are also found crammed in with the rest of the student body. We can’t help but wonder why the rivalry game is so important and well-attended. We asked student body president John Doxey why he thought the rivalry game had more student attendance than any other game and his response was simple, “Bragging rights.”  As a school, we’ve began to consider the Provo game a guaranteed win, and year after year our football players prove us right. There may have been some close calls, but the end is always the same.

To answer our questions of this strange attendance, we sent a survey around the school. The response question asked, If you’re going to the rivalry game but don’t usually go to other games, please explain why. The answers varied, but most had the same jist. We love to win. Some examples of the survey answers are, 

“I go because it is so much fun fighting and making fun of Provo,” 

“It’s the most exciting one,” 

“I go to have fun and hang with friends,” 

“The school spirit is usually the best at rivalry games and I think it’s fun to participate in that,” “My Provo Friends will be there,”  

“It’s the most important game of the year,”

“Because the rivalry is where it’s the craziest.” 

Do the football players feel tremendous amounts of pressure? We asked Junior Sylus Boyack, and he said “The rivalry games feel no different. We have the same goal for every game.” When up against a Provo student, no matter what diss or comeback they may have, the list of sports or performing arts they beat us at, we win at football, and that seems to be all that matters.

Now, we must address the one thing everyone won’t stop talking about. What Provo high might consider their greatest achievement, the chickens. A Provo student dressed as a chicken walks onto the field, opens his backpack, shakes out two chickens, and runs off of the field  with a police officer on his heels. Rumor has it, he was never caught.

So, why chickens? Well, for years past, our rivals have called us, “Thunderchickens,” or “T-chickens,”  At their assemblies before the game, they ask a senior boy to dress up as an orange and blue chicken, and willingly get tackled by their football players.

We asked Provo high senior Val Bickmore, to describe this event to us. She said, “When a T-chicken trespasses on Provo land, we protect, charge with caution, and strive to defeat the invader. To do so we must tackle and enter mortal combat with the T-chicken thereafter obtaining success we drag the yellow belly off our terrain and claim victory.” 

In our Welcome Back Assembly, we strive to show as much school spirit as we can. Instead of bashing on Provo,  we scream as loud as we can and play games to hype up for the game. Our school makes such a big deal of the rivalry game for a simple reason, it’s fun. It’s okay that Provo deposited chickens on our field and tackled each other during their assembly. We still won on the field.

If you found this article interesting, my co-writer Sam Skelton made a video interviewing Provo students and getting their opinion on the rivalry and stereotypes on Timpview–https://youtu.be/GN6G988Zz_M 

Hope you guys enjoy!