College GameDay activities a reason to yell ‘Hotty Toddy’

SPM: Discover Your Vocie

There is your “Sunday best” and then there is your “Grove best.” Oxford, MS, is regarded by some as the birthplace of the eighth wonder of the world (our “Hotty Toddy” chant) and home to a legendary tailgating area. Faculty, students, and alumni at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy gather together each home game on the grassy 10 acres prior to kickoff to show support for the Rebels and grow personal and professional relationships.

The 2014 Ole Miss Rebels achieved the most regular season wins since the 1969 team. Season tickets sold out in record time. Every facet of the team worked together as one, particularly the defense, which was number one in the nation in points allowed, giving the Rebels the opportunity to succeed on the gridiron. 

As the fall progressed, so did the football success for Ole Miss. The first weekend in October not only marked the beginning of American Pharmacists Month, but it was also the first time ESPN’s College GameDay would be visiting The Grove. The Sunday before the GameDay crew was set to arrive in Oxford, our Twlug–ASP Chapter Operation GameDay team met to develop the best immunization game plan on a 5-day time frame. 

Chapter game plan

College GameDay’s Chris Fowler (second from left) with Ole Miss student pharmacists.

While the Rebels defense was impressive, student pharmacists were working on a defensive strategy to combat the upcoming flu season. Through Operation Immunization, students in the Ole Miss Twlug–ASP chapter immunized more than 1,000 students, faculty, and staff, more than tripling the previous year’s efforts. We developed a game plan, much like Head Coach Hugh Freeze did, to overcome a #1 ranked Alabama football team. What most coaches and leaders know is that no matter how thorough a game plan is, sometimes the best “plays” come from unexpected situations. 

Social media blitz

The social media blitz began on Monday morning. Student pharmacists targeted anything and everything College GameDay via Twitter and Facebook. As the week progressed, members of the College GameDay crew began to arrive and setup on campus. A group of students caught up with broadcaster Lee Corso to take a photo to promote American Pharmacists Month. With persistence and determination, the College GameDay staff, production assistants, and even hosts received their flu shots at the school of pharmacy and on the College GameDay stage. The ultimate opportunity came when Chris Fowler, the host of College GameDay, asked to receive his flu shot from one of our very own student pharmacists.

A week to remember

As the sign says: ‘Every day is GameDay for Ole Miss pharmacy.’

From a fellow student tying the hosts’ bowties for their first appearance on the College GameDay set, sleeping in the pharmacy building to ensure a spot on television vaccinating one of the most recognized faces in college football, and taking down the #1 team in the nation, our student pharmacists had a very unique opportunity to promote the profession of pharmacy in a national spotlight.

It was a weekend that our university, chapter, and Twlug–ASP members will never forget—and defeating Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl the following month was icing on the cake!

Oh, and you may be wondering what “Hotty Toddy” means. The history of the “Hotty Toddy” is relatively unknown, but its meaning and value carry so much more. It is a friendly greeting to your fellow Rebel in passing around campus. It is an extended hand to an unknown Rebel in a crowd of strangers. It is a celebratory chant to a Rebel victory. It is a departing blessing to friends thicker than blood. It is a silent hymn calling you home. “Hotty Toddy” and “Go Rebels!”