When you watch the Florida State Seminoles, it is hard to ignore the rowdy crowd that begins their war chant while emulating a tomohawk chop with their arms. Interestingly enough, the final chant of the season for the Seminoles will come against the team where it all started.
In 1984, the Florida State war chant was born, and the opponent at the time was the Auburn Tigers, who Florida State plays for the BCS Championship this season.
Florida State’s “war chant” might have begun with a random occurrence that took place during a 1984 contest with the Auburn Tigers, but most Seminole historians might remember it to be a tradition that holds over thirty years in it’s evolution. With the popular Seminole cheer of the 1960′s, “massacre,” led by members of the Marching Chiefs chanting its melody, so was the first stage of the current popular Seminole cry. In a sense, “massacre,” was the long version of FSU’s current “war chant”.
During a very exciting game with Auburn in 1984, the Marching Chiefs began to perform the cheer. Some students behind the band joined in and continued the “war chant” portion after the band had ceased. The result, which was not very melodic at the time, sounded more like chants by American Indians in Western movies. Most say it came from the fraternity section, but many spirited Seminole fans added the “chopping” motion, a repetitious bend at the elbow, to symbolize a tomahawk swinging down.
It is a cool fact and interesting to tie the historic value of the Seminole chant to the national title game, so we will have to see if Florida State can end their season on a high note as they remind the Auburn Tigers where their fans tradition began.