By Mason Raven
Ranging from slapping a sign on a wall to a cannon being fired, the various traditions have both sentimental and emotional meaning.
For seniors Matthew Richards, Andrew Scroggins and Chris Blackwood, sentimental meaning symbolizes their cannon.
Established during the summer of 2010, the cannon features a 6 foot 8 inches thick, mobile, detachable barrel, steel axle and a red, black and blue finish.
Upon completion, “Paddy’s Brigade” was formed. The name is an homage to school principal, Rev. Patrick Fulton, C.S.B..
“Paddy’s Brigade” made its debut at the home opener of the 2010 football season. The appearances and rave reviews continued for “Paddy’s Brigade” until half way through the 2011 football season when TAPPS shut them down. The rulebook states noisemakers are against the rules.
“We were all really disappointed because it was such a great asset to the game,” Blackwood said. “It really put an accent mark on the big moments. It was really fun to operate because it also pumped us up.”
Paddy’s Brigade is outraged by the rule. They argue that if all noisemakers are banned at TAPPS events, then the band and the use of cow-bells should be banned as well.
“The cannon fires only when the play is dead. There is absolutely no noise coming from the cannon during play,” Blackwood said. “I really just don’t understand their reason behind the decision considering the rule states there can be no noisemakers during game play.”
School traditions are ingrained into every football team. Paddy’s Brigade argues that their cannon can be a new tradition.
“It really puts in an exclamation point after we score,” Scroggins said. “The shot of adrenaline is an awesome feeling.”
This year there was a mild change of heart for TAPPS officials. They told the seniors that the cannon can only be fired during non-TAPPS home games.
Although excited for the opportunity, Paddy’s Brigade would love nothing more than leading the Eagles for TAPPS games.
“It would be pretty awesome if TAPPS would let us use the cannon at all the games,” Richards said. “The feeling is unreal when the crowd goes wild.”