By Nicole Yesel Unigo Campus Rep at UA Athletics are a very important part of UA life. “Everyone talks about it on Monday in class,” said freshman Samantha Bankston. “It’s a common thing for a large body of people to be positive about.” Because the UA is so large, sports are a great way for students of all backgrounds and interests to come together in their love for their school. Alissa Yesel, also a freshman, shares her perspective on what she has seen so far. “Game days are great because you can feel the excitement in the air,” she said. “Sitting in the student section is an experience in itself. You become part of a mass body of chanting red shirts that shares every moment together – both the wins and losses are fun because everyone is so hyped up about the team.” It’s not easy for UA students to get disheartened about their teams, and stadiums are always full. On football game days, before the game, there is one thing to do – tailgate. The Mall is filled with people getting pumped up for the game. While the UA has rivalries against some California schools like Stanford and UCLA, none run as deep and as fierce as the one against Arizona State University. Nothing is too extreme when it comes to making sure that the world knows UA is superior to them in all ways. Students have even attempted to paint their A Mountain (a copy of the UA’s A Mountain) in Tempe red and blue. The last football game of the season is always against ASU. Most students do not know that the original colors of the UA were green and silver. It is only because early in the UA’s history, the head coach of the football team was offered blue and red uniforms at a substantially cheaper price compared to the silver and green ones. Our fight words, “Bear down,” also have an interesting origin. A day before a football game in 1926, John Salmon, a star football player, was fatally injured in a car accident. His last words to his coach, Pop McKale, were “Tell them…tell the team to bear down.” McKale brought this message back and it has been part of UA mantra ever since. Wilber and Wilma the Wildcats have not always been our mascots. Originally, each president kept a live bobcat as a mascot beginning with Rufus Arizona, who accidentally hung himself on his leash in a tree.