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Origin of Whoop?

 
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HumbleAg
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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011 10:08 am 
Post subject: Origin of Whoop?
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This question was posed on another board. I know what I was told as a non-reg back in the mid-70's but I want to see what the elder statesmen here have to say on the topic.

I know the whoop is tied to the wildcat and the priveledge of wildcatting (properly according to class) has to be earned by seniority (i.e. class rank). The wildcats for the classes are documented on the web but I have not seeing anything documenting the history of "Whoop!"

I was told as a fish (back in 1973) by one of the seniors in my dorm (Utay Hall, aka Dorm 12) that "whoop" originally had something to do with a warning that would be given when The Corps of Cadets was marching behind horses in parades. When those in front came upon horse droppings, they would yell out something like "woofts" which meant "watch out for the sh*t" and that "woofts" later became "whoop". Now I was never really sure I believed the story based on the storyteller being a high level b.s. artist but it at least sounded somewhat plausible. Cool

Here's the question as posed:
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Does anyone know the history of the Aggie Whoop!!!

When did it start? Why only upperclassmen? Why the fish and sophmore yells?
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BeBopAg
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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011 11:27 am 
Post subject: Origin of Whoop?
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HumbleAg...
According to noted Civil War author and historian Shelby Foote, the Rebel Yell was sort of ah "fox hunter's yelp mixed with a banshee's squall - used while on the running-attack."
bop's theory on origins of the Aggie Whoop goes back to Texas A&M cadets of the 1870's-1880's, many of whom were sons and grandsons of former Confederate combat veterans. Somehow the memories and varied imitiations of that Rebel Yell evolved into Wildcatting and todays much shorter modified version called the Aggie Whoop.
Since the antebellum south was full of Scot-Irish immigrants (Scarlett O'Hara's father) perhaps "Aggie Whoop roots" run much deeper that just the Civil War (that is, The War of Northern Agression on the South).

Check out: The Real Rebel Yell...youtube.com/watch?v=ssLMroT2evQ&feature=related

P.S. bop "elder statesman" ?...Well, least it has ah nice ring to it.

Utay Hall named for Joe Utay '08. His nephew was one of fish bop's tough "C" Infantry pissheads. Last April 21st, shook nephew's hand at his 50th Class of '60 Reunion in C/S to renewed old acquiantences.
Once upon a time for 18 year old fish bop, Utay's nephew and five of his pisshead buds were, daily for 9 months, exact forerunners of Marine Corps DI, R. Lee Ermey (right out of cast - Full Metal Jacket).
Door would close (bam) and in comes another.
Thank God half a century later, they did mellow somewhat, with old age.

You might research Joe Utay '08. Quite a serious Fightin' Texas Aggie too.
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DeaconD69
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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011 1:04 pm 
Post subject: Origin of Whoop?
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I was at A&M from 1965 - 1969 and was given even another story as to the source of the (sic) "whoop."

First of all, it is not (or more accurately, was not then) "whoop." It was "who-waa," which when uttered rapidly became "whoWAA."

To who-waa was an upperclassman privilege--a junior privilege if memory serves, although I may be wrong.

It was certainly NOT a fish privilege!

An upperclassman whose identity I do not remember told me the origin of the "who-waa" was a cartoon in Playboy Magazine. He didn't know the context of the cartoon, except that it involved some hot girl and a guy exclaiming "Who-waa!"

I expect the true origin of "who-waa" is lost forever in the mists of Aggie tradition.

But I still cringe a little when I hear my old favorite "who-waa" morphed into "whoop."


Last edited by DeaconD69 on 30 Mar 2011 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BeBopAg
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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011 4:44 pm 
Post subject: Origin of Whoop?
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Deacon
You're absolutely correct.
It WAS a a loud "woo--WAA" from bop's 1957-61 era.
Never heard the playboy angle though.

One of bop's Class of '32 former Aggie buds (now deceased) never heard of a Woop or Woo-waa during his 1928-32 era.

bop needs to look once more at the movie "We've Never Been Licked" to see if there is any trace recording of that Aggie unique expression.
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DeaconD69
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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011 5:16 pm 
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My father--Class of '35--said there was no "who-waa" in his day.

Just like there were no white surrender flags (aka spirit towels) in my day . . . Twisted Evil
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HuslinOne70
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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011 5:35 pm 
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Deacon, I was there from 66-70 and it was a junior privilege and was definitely whoo waa instead of whoop. The story was that it originated in the cavalry but I cannot verify that.

The "surrender towels" on the other hand began during the Jackie Sherrill days. A member of the wrecking crew stole the white towell that Heisman Tim Brown had tucked in his pants during the Notre game in the Cotton Bowl and began waving it in a circular fashion.

The next year, it caught on big with the student body and the tradition has remained. That was about 24 years ago or almost a quarter century so I would guess it has passed the test of time.

I have no problem with something that demonstrates spirit and does not detract from other Aggie traditions. Some things come and others go. I remember when every Aggie date wore a Mum to the game and that tradition seems to have dissappeared.

I am sure that before the end times there will be other new traditions born while some traditions will likely die. The one constant is the undying love for the school.
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HumbleAg
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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011 6:34 pm 
Post subject: Origin of Whoop?
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Thanks Ags, I will relate your recollections and experiences to the fellow that asked the question.

Huslin - you are a bit off in your recollection on the origin of the 12th Man Towels. It is true that one of the 12th Man kickoff team "relieved" ND's Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown of his personalized towel. But that was in the 1988 Cotton Bowl just after Brown was awarded the Heisman Trophy for the 1987 season.

The 12th Man towels originated in the 1985 season with Jackie Sherrill's 12th Man kickoff team that would twirl them after taking the field in order to fire up the 12th Man in the stands. This tradition was then picked up by the students and alumni.

And the rest is history. Cool
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HuslinOne70
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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011 8:45 pm 
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My apologies, I knew it was during the Sherrill days. Point being I never considered it to be a symbol of "Surrender".
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goodags MR Member
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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011 9:27 pm 
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I don't know the origin of Whoop, but I did learn the origin of one outfit's fish wildcat of "ord ord" Smile
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DeaconD69
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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011 9:54 pm 
Post subject: Origin of Whoop?
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Well, I didn't intend to offend anyone or denigrate the 12th Man's show of spirit with my comment about the towels. However, I guess I was out of touch with the "new" traditions, and when I first saw the towel waving, it just struck me as something a cookie-pusher school would be more apt to do.

But, times and traditions change, and whatever the students like is fine with me. I doubt I'll ever get used to the twirling towels, tough.

No mums anymore? Old Army is dead!
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HumbleAg
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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2011 6:46 am 
Post subject: Origin of Whoop?
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Huslin - no apology necessary, we're all friends here (more or less). Cool

Deacon - the first usage of "rally towels" (as opposed to white flags of surrender) that I am aware of goes back to the Steel Curtain days of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The "Terrible Towel" came about in 1975, well before the 12th Man Towel. So maybe we were emulating the pros and not a rah rah cookie-pusher school. Cool

I don't if Jackie Sherrill was inspired by the Terrible Towel from his time in Pittsburgh before coming to A&M but I do know usage of the 12th Man Towels originated with the 12th Man Kickoff Team as mentioned previously. Also, at that time it was pretty common for football players at the skill positions to have customized towels (ala the aforementioned Tim Brown) that they tucked inside their pants to wipe off their hands between plays. This was before widespread usage of gloves and if I recall correctly was also en vogue in the NFL for a time. So I guess that's another possible origin for the 12th Man Towels. I guess it would be interesting to ask Jackie about their origin for a definitive answer.

One thing that I think is pretty lame with regard to the 12th Man Towel these days is to see the O.D.s half-heartedly twirling them on the sidelines. They should just drop that IMO.


bop - I need to check out that YouTube video you linked and I will read up on Joe Utay. As far as the "elder statesman" moniker, I felt like I would get a better response to my inquiry if I approached the subject with a modicum of respect rather than a brash reference such as "old farts". Wink
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BeBopAg
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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2011 10:10 am 
Post subject: Origin of Whoop?
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With reference to the evolving "white-towel waving" phenomenon at Kyle.
Few years back some electronic guru felt it was a great idea to program antimated white towel waving, by the thousands, onto the 270 degree, 6 foot high ribbon board along the interior second deck facades of Kyle.
In anticipation of big play moments, on his own, the guru at skybox control pushes a button and suddenly the fluttering sea gull invasion (antimated electronic white towl waving) decends on Kyle.
Often, after the big play moment occurs, sea gulls just keep on flapping.
Besides Head Yell Leader's independent side-line initiatives no longer allowed, as to when to call a yell at Kyle Field, (now a Jumbo ground controller and skybox sole prerogative) student body and Kyle spectators are also suddenly inundated with antimated flapping seagulls by the touch of ONE individual's finger placed on a button.
It's all to be placed under: Non-Student Participatory Modern Electronic Evolutions at Kyle Field.

(bop, so you think that's bad? You need to attend a game at DKR. t-sips too gone crazy with their 'lectronic Godzillatron play toy.
Baylor's scoreboard sound controllers at Casey ?
An absolute absurd frickin' freak show gone mad, OR all damn-well high strung-out on somethin' or 'nuther.
Baptists need to at least pre-game drug test those scoreboard sound operators.)
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HumbleAg
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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2011 6:53 am 
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Bop - I tried to watch the rebel yell video this AM before heading off to work but it wasn't available. Maybe removed?
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BeBopAg
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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2011 10:35 am 
Post subject: Origin of Whoop?
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HumbleAg...
Search engine type in...Rebel Yell Origins...and link to Wikipedia.
Shelby Foote's yell theory is mentioned.

bop sorta goes with the deep Celtic origins of a loud woo-ah, now evolved into a shorter Aggie whoop.

Have you noticed, most Aggie Yells no longer have a certain snap, as in sharp-crisp military precision, but they're rather long and drawn out. That's evolution for you, as is now somewhat student modified from their origin.

(Don't believe ol' bop do ya ? Just YOU get ah copy of "We've Never Been Licked". Watch, listen and pay attention).

On Semi-related topic of origins:

sipville's "The Eyes of Texas" tune was an original 19th century Irish railroad worker's drinking song called, "I've Been Working on the Railroad", 'til ah sip came along and changed the words and p/c dropped the part about "Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah".

The Baptist in Waco ? Why, to fill their need they simply stole a 1902 Tin Pan Alley song..."In The Good Old Summer Time" and, they never looked back.

(errr bop, 3rd paragraph above, speaking of "military precision", Cadet Corps represents only about 4% of the total TAMU student population. So ?)
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TexAg1977
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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2011 9:24 pm 
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I was a fish in the fall of '73. Whoop was a junior privilege, and who-ahh was a senior privilege. Was that way when I left in '78.
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BeBopAg
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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2011 9:46 pm 
Post subject: Origin of Whoop?
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77...
Now that sounds entirely logical.
Don't think bop ever did a Whoop or Whoo-ah as a fish or pisshead. (Lot of fish wildcatting with arms fully extended.)
Seems as widlcatting pissheads we could bend our arms only slightly.
During the Whoop, wonder when that modern two hand clasp, fore finger's together pointing below the waist (and also above the waist) started ?

Am sure that Woop "pointing gesture" was not around 1957-61.
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HuslinOne70
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PostPosted: 04 Apr 2011 9:15 pm 
Post subject: Origin of Whoop?
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It was definitely not a fish or pisshead privilege in the 60's and according to cadets today is still a sergebutt privilege, but then again, it was always a fish privilege to do whatever you could get away with.
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