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Once Pedagogues, Teachers and Normals. How two teams became Falcons

The 99 Day Countdown continues with our series on how teams got their names.  Today it’s a mascot that starts with F.

In the Football Bowl Subdivision, there are two teams that use the Falcon as a mascot.  One is a team that you might expect to use a bird of prey as a mascot.  The other is a college that started as a state teachers college, with its teams referred to as the Teachers, Normals or Pedagogues until an alumnus read an article on falconry and suggested a change.

The Air Force Falcon

The Air Force Falcon

Flying high

Since 1955, when the Class of ’59 selected the Falcon over the Tiger, teams of the United States Air Force Academy have been referred to as the Falcons.  According to, The qualities possessed by the falcon are reflected in many ways by the cadets the bird represents.  Falcons are known for unhesitatingly attacking and killing prey twice their size.  Due to military weight standards, the Air Force football team  typically matches up against foes that have much greater sized linemen.  Keen eyesight is another falcon characteristic that’s typically required in Air Force Cadets.  Students at the academy must have perfect vision to fly our nation’s elite aircraft.  The falcon also possesses other qualities that the Academy’s future naval officers must have to be successful.  These positive traits include speed, power, courage, alertness and a noble tradition.

The new Normals

 Bowling Green University was authorized by the passage of the Lowery Bill in 1910 and opened in 1914.  In 1919, Bowling Green fielded its first team, with 19 of the school’s 36 male students playing on the team.  In 1920, the team, won its first game, and in 1921, it won the Northwestern Ohio Intercollegiate Athletic Association conference title.  During that year Bowling Green defeated Findlay 151-0, a team record that stands today.

As was common in the day, a name change was proposed by a local newspaper editor.  Ivan Lake, a Bowling Green alumnus who worked as the managing editor and sports editor of the Sentinel-Tribune in Bowling Green, proposed the name change to Falcons from the interchangeable use of Teachers, Normals and Pedagogues after he read an article about falconry.  The name Falcons fit headline space and because falcons were, “the most powerful bird for their size and often attacked birds two or three times their size.”  The name was well received and Bowling Green teams have been known as the Falcons ever since.

94 Days Until College Football Kicks Off!

Our countdown started Tuesday with the history of different school mascots:

Tuesday- Aztecs

Wednesday- Boilermakers

Thursday– Commodores

Friday – Demon Deacons

Saturday – Eagles

Tomorrow – Subscribe, like us on Facebook, or Twitter and find out!

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