Blue Devils, Demons, Wolfpack, and Tarheels.. No, it’s not Halloween, it’s football traditions in North Carolina.
During World War I the Chasseurs Alpins, nicknamed “les Diables Bleus,” were well known French soldiers. They first gained attention when their unique training and alpine knowledge was counted upon to break the stalemate of trench warfare in their native region of the French Alps. Unfortunately the Vosges Campaign in March, 1915, failed to alter the status quo even though the Blue Devils won accolades for their courage. However, their distinctive blue uniform with flowing cape and jaunty beret captured public imagination. When the United States entered the war, units of the French Blue Devils toured the country helping raise money in the war effort. Irving Berlin captured their spirit in song describing them as “strong and active, most attractive . . . those Devils, the Blue Devils of France.” (SOURCE)
Other Traditions: Victory Bell rivalry with UNC, 1942 Rose Bowl
3. North Carolina
Singing of the Alma Mater
2. North Carolina State
Sign Of The Wolf
In 1921, an anonymous alum was upset that the behavior of some players on the football team was “as unruly as a pack of wolves.” Within weeks, both the NC State Alumni News and the new student newspaper, Technician, began referring to the football team as “The Wolfpack.” As for the Sign of the Wolf, no exact info could be found, but, it looks very familiar to pro wrestling fans.
Other Traditions: Flag Bearers, UNC rivalry, “Mr. and Ms. Wuf,” Roman Gabriel, Textile Bowl, Walk Of Champions, N.C. State–Wake Forest rivalry, Howling Cow Ice Cream
1. Wake Forest
In 1923, the Wake Forest football team defeated rival Trinity (later renamed Duke University). In the following issue of the school newspaper, the editor of the paper, Mayon Parker (1924 Wake Forest graduate), first referred to the team as “Demon Deacons,” in recognition of what he called their “devilish” play and fighting spirit. Henry Belk, Wake Forest’s news director, and Garrity liked the title and used it often, so the popularity of the term grew.
Other Traditions: Old Gold and Black, Rolling The Quad, Sparse crowds, Brian Piccolo, Homecoming Bonfire, A Class of the Finest, 2006 ACC Champions, N.C. State–Wake Forest rivalry