Cincinnati Bearcats Traditions
The University of Cincinnati features a great nickname and mascot tradition and also plays in one of college football’s oldest stadiums. Bearcat fans wear their red and black and urge their teams on by singing the University’s fight song, “Cheer Cincinnati.”
Cincinnati football was born in 1885. Their match up against Miami in 1888 is known as the first intercollegiate football game held within the state of Ohio. Although overshadowed by the school’s basketball program through the years, UC football has become more established in recent years. Led by head Coach Brian Kelly, the Bearcats earned an Orange Bowl appearance in 2008 and followed with a Sugar Bowl bid the following season.
UC in the Heisman Voting
Nickname and Football History
This costumed mascot’s name mirrors the University’s Bearcats nickname given to its athletic teams. The nickname first took hold in 1914 as a salute to a fiery player on the school’s football team. Fullback Leonard K. “Teddy” Baehr impressed UC fans so much during a game against Kentucky, that a cheerleader created a chant that “They may be Wildcats, but we have a Baehr-cat on our side.”
The crowd follwed with “Come on, Baehr-Cat!” Cincinnati’s 14-7 win over UK
was featured on the front page of the student newspaper with a cartoon of a
desperate UK Wildcat being chased by a creature labeled as a “Cincinnati Bear
The Bearcats football Stadium is the 4th oldest playing site and 5th oldest stadium in college football. It was originally called Varsity Field when it opened in 1901. As funds allowed, a brick and concrete structure was built.
The stadium was named after James Gamble Nippert who was a player on the 1923 football team. Nippert died of blood poisoning after sustaining a spike wound injury in the final game of the season. The stadium has a capacity of 35,097 and once housed the Cincinnati Bengals in the late 1960s.
Cincinnati Football Facts
- Cincinnati Mascot: The Bearcat became the
university’s mascot in 1914.
- School’s Fight Song: Bearcat fans know it by
heart and it’s called “Cheer Cincy.”
- Cincinnati’s oldest football rivalry: The school
first played Miami University in 1888 and the two
schools still square off annually for the “Victory
Bell.” The school’s contest against Louisville first
began in 1929 and Cincy battles the Cardinals
for the “Keg of Nails” Trophy.
- Cincy’s home football stadium – Bearcat football
is played at Nippert Stadium
- School’s first bowl game: An appearance in the
1947 Sun Bowl marked the university’s first bowl
game. Cincinnati defeated Virginia Tech 18-6.
Men’s NCAA Tournament
National Championships: 2
Under the direction of head coach Ed
Jucker, UC won back to back NCAA
NCAA Final Four Apperances
The Bearcats have made it to the Final
4 six times including an incredible 5
times in a row.
1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1992