PHILADELPHIA - At the conclusion of SIRIUS XM's College Football Traditions Tournament, the University of Pennsylvania's beloved toast toss tradition finished with the third-most votes. The toast toss just missed out on reaching the tournament championship to decide America's favorite college football tradition.
Penn was the only FCS program among the 32 schools selected for the tournament and was slated as a No. 8 seed. The toast toss knocked off a No. 1, No. 5 and No. 3 seed in succession to reach the Final Four where the Quakers fell with just 46 percent of the vote against third-seeded Army-Navy's March On. The Arkansas Hog Call finished atop the voting as America's favorite college football tradition.
The toast toss topped No. 1 seeded Florida State's Chief Osceola and the Flaming Spear in the first round with 71 percent of the vote. Then in Round 2, the toss held 61 percent of the vote over No. 5 seed Mississippi State's Cow Bells. The Penn tradition then earned 63 percent of the vote against No. 3 seed West Virginia's Country Road tradition before the narrow defeat to Army-Navy.
The toast toss takes place after the third quarter of home football games where Quaker fans unite in the singing of "Drink a Highball." As the last line is sung - "Here's a toast to dear old Penn" - the fans toss toast onto the sidelines.
Toast covers the track surrounding the field and the beloved “Toast Zamboni” sweeps up the bread. A group of engineering students modified Penn’s motorized turf cleaner so it would be able to pick up larger pieces of trash, and the "Toast Zamboni" is now a permanent fixture at Penn football games.
Originally, fans literally drank a highball, but the act of throwing toast was adopted after alcohol was banned from the stadium in the late 1970s. Students turned towards bread, and even bagels, so that they could continue to raise a "toast" to Penn.
The first toast toss at historic Franklin Field this season will be Sept. 21 when Quakers begin their defense of the Ivy title against Lafayette. It will mark the 119th season at Franklin Field - the nation's oldest collegiate football stadium.