Bowling Green Falcons

Bowling Green Falcons - History

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The Falcon
Until 1927, Bowling Green State University was referred to as Bowling Green Normal University, for its teacher training curriculum. The school's nickname was "The Normals." That year a man named Ivan "Doc" Lake, who was a distinguished
Bowling Green Football History1923 graduate of the university, and active athletics booster, suggested that the university needed a new nickname. Doc Lake, then a sports reporter for the local Sentinel Tribune news paper, had just finished reading an article about falconry. He suggested the university rename its nickname and mascot, "The Falcons." He felt the bird was a fierce fighter with speed and courage. Doc Lake's suggestion of "The Falcons" met with instant general approval by members of the university. In fact, in 1955 the U.S. Air Force would also adopt the falcon as their mascot at the academy in Colorado Springs, Co.

Freddie Falcon
Freddie Falcon was born in 1950 in the minds of the members of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity. The idea was to try and create school spirit at BGSU athletics events. On January 16, 1950 at the BGSU vs. Ohio University basketball game Freddie Falcon made his debut appearance introducing himself to the BGSU community. Under the head created from papier-mache, a feathered cape and a brown sweat suit outfit was Bob Taylor, BGSU's first Freddie Falcon.

Frieda Falcon
Frieda first joined Freddie at BGSU on February 26, 1966 as Mrs. Freddie Falcon. Contrary to what one might think, Mrs. Freddie Falcon was actually a male cheerleader in disguise. By 1980 Frieda emerged as the Falcon sidekick we all know today. The first official female Frieda was played by Sue Sheard during the 1980-81 school year. In order to become Freddie or Frieda, one must apply in writing, pass a series of interviews, and be observed in the costume in public. The spirited birds can be seen rooting for BGSU at football, men's and women's basketball, hockey and volleyball games. The identity of the actual people who are chosen as Freddie and Frieda are not revealed until the end of the basketball and hockey seasons.

Through the years Freddie and Frieda's appearances have changed several times, perhaps by accident or maybe on purpose. During the Summer of 1950, the old Falcon's Nest (home to Freddie and Frieda) was located in a log cabin on the current site of the campus union. Apparently, some hungry mice got into the cabin and devoured Freddie's papier-mache head right down to the chicken wire frame. The following year, Freddie's head had a new look. Instead of Papier-mache, he wore something resembling a rubber chicken mask.

Today, Freddie and Frieda's costumes look similar to other college mascots' outfits. They are made of fiberglass, paint, and synthetic brown material to look like feathers. For the last few years however, BGSU's favorite birds have spiced up their appearances by sporting the bright orange gloves, tights and even Chuck Taylor basketball shoes to keep their talons warm in the winter months!

Why Brown & Orange ?

The historical story behind how BGSU began using Brown and Orange as its school colors dates back to 1914.

Dr. Williams, the university's first President, gathered a group of people which included a Dr. L. L. Winslow from Industrial Arts as a selection committee for the school's new colors. While on an interurban (or trolley) ride to Toledo, Dr. Winslow sat behind a woman wearing a large hat adorned with beautiful brown and orange feathers. It is unclear whether or not she ever actually gave him a few of these feathers from her hat, however, he was so interested in the color scheme of the pair that he convinced the committee to approve the combination of Brown and Orange.

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