On Gameday in Murfreesboro there’s not a better place to be than Floyd Stadium. From tailgating
in the Grove and Greenland Drive to Raider Walk to all the activities surrounding the stadium, Blue
Raider football has become the thing to do in the midstate region.
Fans, alums, and students all come early, donning their blue attire to enjoy the many activities
available during pregame before heading to the stadium and giving the Blue Raiders that
Once the game begins, MTSU fans enthusiastically celebrate eachfirst down and touchdown,
finishing the public address announcer’s catchy “That’s another Blue Raider…FIRST DOWN”,
while a stateof-the-art video board highlights the action…
For a time, the “unofficial” mascot for the Blue Raiders was a costumed, cartoon-like dog that debuted in the 1980s. A reasonable facsimile of a bluetick hound, the affable character was dubbed “Ole Blue.”On January 17, 1998, the current mascot, “Lightning,” was born. The mascot was unveiled at a basketball game in Murphy Center. The introduction of Lightning gave a new identity to the nickname Blue Raiders.
In Greek mythology, the winged horse possessed superior cunning and speed. The thundering horse of the gods was entrusted to carry awesome lightning bolts and could only be harnessed by a noble being with a pure heart. Character, talent, and strength were required to mount and ride the fabled winged horse. Today, this winged horse is a fitting symbol of a university that has earned its wings and excels in many academic arenas, including historic preservation, teacher training, aerospace, political science, horse science, and recording industry. But the winged horse is more than a symbol of physical accomplishment; it’s also a symbol of character and the responsible wielding of power. The challenge of all great universities and university athletic departments is to help student-athletes build character as well as strength.
This winged horse, Lightning, is a symbol to Middle Tennessee students, athletes, and alumni of the soaring school spirit they experience at sporting events. For its nobility and character, the winged horse was immortalized in the stars. Now, with breathtaking speed and thundering, unbridled power, Lightning strikes, forevermore, fear in the hearts of Blue Raider opponents and leads Middle Tennessee to victory!
The Middle Tennessee Football Equipment Room is located on the ground level of the Murphy Center Complex. The purpose of this room is to provide the Blue Raider Football team, Coaches, and Support Staff with the safest equipment and latest technology that will ensure them to perform their respected jobs at the highest level. The equipment room is responsible for outfitting the football players, coaches, and all support staff for both practices and gamedays. The equipment staff is comprised of 1 fulltime AEMA certified equipment manager and 11 students. The equipment staff is responsible for the daily set up and breakdown of practices as well as all laundry that is directly related to football. During the season the equipment staff is responsible for transporting all items that are needed for gamedays. This includes player equipment, game clothes for all staff members, video equipment, all backup equipment, and training room equipment. These items are all transported by a tractor trailer provided by Apex and Robert E. Lee moving and storage co., INC.
Nike is a great partner for Middle Tennessee State Football. Nike is the exclusive supplier of all cloth apparel, footwear (both workout & cleats), and gloves for Middle Tennessee Football and we will continue our relationship for a number of years to come. The equipment manager and NIKE are always working on ways to help the players stay comfortable, while achieving optimal performances at practices and games. From workout, to travel, to game gear Nike provides MT Football program with everything that a player would need to compete against some of the nation’s top teams weekend and week out. Each player has three loops one for work outs and one for practice and one for gamedays. Each loop consists of shorts, a loose or tight fit Dri-Fit shirt, girdle, and socks. Nike also provides our game uniforms which are produced from the latest fabrics to help keep our athletes cool during competition.
When you arrive at Middle Tennessee we will fit you into custom shoulder pads (Douglas or Riddell) and the helmet of your choice according to a proper fit. Here at Middle Tennessee safety is our number one concern and we are going to make sure that all of our players fitted properly so that can go play the game that they love. To further our commitment to our players safety we are always looking for research that allows to us protect our players in the best possible ways.
One of the newest traditions at MTSU is Raider Walk, which began in 2000. The team walks through Walnut Grove two hours before kickoff as fans, cheerleaders, and members of the band wish the Blue Raiders luck in their upcoming game. Head Coach Rick Stockstill also takes time to show his appreciation to the fans by saying a few words on a provided sound system. The Raider Walk is designated by lightning bolts painted on the sidewalk where the players greet the fans.
During the early spring of 1912, President Jones appointed two faculty members and a student leader to bring to the faculty recommendations for school colors. The two faculty members were
Jeannette Moore King and Tommie Reynolds, and the student leader was Q.M. Smith. They met in the east corner first floor room of the women’s dormitory and after considerable discussion reached consensus on the two colors, blue and white. The committee pointed out in its report to the president that blue and white more nearly approximated the wearing
apparel colors of the early Normal students and “school affiliation and spirit could be displayed in a more economical and practical manner.” The committee further stated that school colors embodied in everyday apparel could be purchased across the counter in any general merchandise store.
The “Black-Out” started as a special request by players in the spring and by the time the lights were turned out in Floyd Stadium on that Tuesday September night in 2008 it had become a legend.
A small group of players approached Coach Stockstill in the Spring of 2008 with a special request, the team wanted to wear all black uniforms during the 2008 season. Black uniforms had never been worn in Blue Raider history but Coach Stockstill admitted he loved the idea and secretly got to work with Nike to design special black uniforms. In order to make sure fans were on board with this historic event the athletic department quickly built a plan and started to promote “Black-Out Night” for the first ever nationally televised game at Floyd Stadium.
On September 30, 2008 the campus of Middle Tennessee State University was bathed in black and the atmosphere was electric as Comcast aired its first ever live college pre-game show from the “Grove” and ESPN2 was set to carry the game across the nation. The event was definitely a hit as the 3rd largest crowd in school history turned out to see the debut of the new Nike Black-Out uniforms which were a hit as players charged onto the field.
What started as a back-and-fourth defensive battle ended in thrilling fashion with an offensive onslaught by the Blue Raiders in the final seconds to “Blackout” the defending Sun Belt Champion Florida Atlantic Owls 14-13. The thrilling hail-mary ending was carried on ESPN’s top ten plays of the day and made the network’s top plays of the 2008 college football season. The debut of the Black-Out uniforms turned out to be a game that will go down in Blue Raider lore for years to come.
BAND OF BLUE
The marching band at MTSU, the Band of Blue, is directed by Associate Director of Bands, Craig Cornish, and presents original half-time shows at all home football games and selected out-of-town games.
The Band of Blue is legendary at Middle Tennessee State University. At 350 members strong, this marching machine has melted audience faces across the Southeast and beyond. If you haven’t heard them play, then you haven’t heard anything!!! Branching away from mundane marching band shows, the Band of Blue captivates their audience with hits made famous by their idols. Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Gap Band, P-funk, and Michael Jackson would all agree that this band knows how to bring any “brick house” down.
Blue Raiders ride on to vic-t’ry
Never failing in the fight
Upholding honor and tradition
Of the name that’s held most high
M-T-S-U marching onward
This will be our battle cry
For the one, true pride of the Blue
M-T-S-U Raiders Ride!
We sing thy praises,
faithful guide of youth,
Through all the ages
affirmed and strong in truth.
Alma Mater, Middle Tennessee
We proudly offer
our hearts in loyalty.