COVID-19 has altered many aspects of normal life, including the BYU football tradition called “Cougar Walk.”
The BYU football team has played the first three home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium without any fans in the stands. Saturday’s home game against Texas State will be the first home game with fans. There are many fans who miss the tailgating activities that come along with game day.
In order to keep fans connected, BYU has come up with virtual ways for fans to stay connected.
“Cougar Walk” is a game day tradition for BYU Football. Normally, fans line up along both sides of Canyon Rd. and wait for the arrival of the band, spirit squad and football team. The band plays the fight song and the fans sing along as they welcome the football team into the stadium.
The Cougar Walk tradition has continued; however, this year it has taken place over Zoom.
Fans are able to join a Zoom meeting that shows the coaches and football players walking into the stadium, and the coaches and players are able to see the fans supporting them as well.
Cheerleaders in uniform joined the Cougar Walk through Zoom. “It was awesome to be apart of the cougar walk. It felt good to put on my uniform and show the fans that we are still supporting our cougars on game day,” first-year cheerleader Gavan Allan said.
“It was awesome to see cougar fans from all over the world come together for the virtual cougar walk,” cheerleader Kaitlin Talbot said. “I was able to lead cheers and create a game-day atmosphere for the players and fans.”
The fans seemed to enjoy being a part of the virtual cougar walk.
“I normally don’t make it to the games in person, so it was awesome to experience a BYU tradition that I don’t normally get to be apart of,” said Idaho fan Bryan Taylor.
Although COVID-19 canceled many social events and gatherings, virtual platforms have helped continue important BYU traditions that fans know and love.