This University Of Pennsylvania Ritual Is One Of The Weirdest College Traditions

You'd think that a fancy Ivy League school would be too good for weird college traditions, right? Wrong. They love weird stuff. And at the University of Pennsylvania, they have a particularly bizarre custom: throwing toast during their fight song (via UPenn).

This happens at every home football game between the third and fourth quarter, though the tradition may occur with more zeal during games against Princeton, their dastardly Ivy League rivals. Between these quarters, the spectators gathered in the stands of Franklin Field start singing their raucous school song, "Drink A Highball," which ends (via The Daily Pennsylvanian):

"Tell the story, of the glory, / Of Pennsylvan-i-a, / Drink a highball, and be jolly / Here's a toast to dear old Penn!"

At the last line, Penn supporters throw baked goods into the field. Not just toast, according to Penn Today, but bagels, muffins, and whatever other bread-like foods they have available.

Origins and the 'toast zamboni'

The theory is that the tradition started in the 1970s, after alcohol was banned from Franklin Field (via UPenn). Legend has it that before the ban, students would tip their glass toward the field at the conclusion of the song. Cute, but rather staid compared with chucking a pumpernickel roll at the Quaker mascot.

Others say the tradition was inspired by the audience participation in screenings of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," according to Penn Today. During screenings of the cult classic movie musical, it's become customary for audiences to throw toast when the Tim Curry character proposes a toast at dinner (see The Guardian).

Whatever the origin, Franklin Field supervisor Tony Overend told Penn Today that the school has to sometimes clean up 20,000 to 30,000 pieces of toast per game, which they do using a piece of equipment known as the "toast zamboni."