The Bird on the Hat

Every spring at A&M, there is a competition in the Corps of Cadets. It is about running. Every outfit runs around the Quadrangle six times (about 2.6 miles) as fast as they can, losing as few people as possible. Well, in B-Company, it was a point of pride to win against the other outfits in the band in this run, called "Bloody Cross". And there was a motivating factor. B-Company tended to win it. And in 1988, they had not only won the Band Bloody Cross, but the Corps Bloody Cross as well. You see, that was the prize for winning against your fellow outfits. You get to run the Cross again. Some prize. Essentially, the Bloody Cross winners from the Band, Wing (Air Force), Regiment (Navy/Marine), and Brigade (Army) would run it again to determine the Corps Bloody Cross winner. Anyway, the Streetfighers were going to win the Bloody Cross. At least in the band. Anything less was unacceptable. Now, we had a leftover motivator from the 1988 year, when they pulled out the Corps win. It was a hat. A senior in B-Company that year had found a dead sparrow near the band dorm. He then, in what I imagine was an awesome health risk, stapled the dead bird to the back of this fitted striped hat. It was a whitesh hat with a lattice of reddish lines. And on the back was this dead bird. Well, anyway, during the course of an outfit run, the wearer of the hat would jog out to the side and start the chant. "Bird on the Hat, 2, 3, 4...Bird...on the Hat, a little louder now, Bird on the Hat, a little softer now, Bird on the Hat, just a whisper now, Bird on the Hat, ROCK THE QUADRANGLE!!!!, BIRD ON THE HAT!!!" and so on. This would build to a frenzy, and then he could switch into a great Jodie (Running Song) that would go like this (all lines are repeated by the outfit):

"Everywhere we Go...."
"People want to know...."
"Who the hell we are..."
"Where the hell we come from..."
"So o o we tell them..."
"We are the Aggie Band"
"The Fight'n Texas Aggie Band"
"Best Damn Band in all the land!"
"B-Com-pan-y, B-Com-pan-y, etc...."

We won the Band Bloody Cross my freshman year, and three of the four years I was in the Corps of Cadets. We never managed to win Corps, but who could forget the "Bird on the Hat" (okay, its only feather and bones on the hat nowadays).

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Copyright © Richard Hay 1998