About Cowbell Central
I came up with the idea of selling cowbells over the internet when I realized how difficult it is to buy
these things. It's not like you can go to the local Wal mart and pick one up! I graduated from
school at Mississippi State University in 1995 in the College of Engineering where MSU fans have
a tradition of ringing cowbells at football and baseball games. It's not too hard to find these in
Starkville, MS, but not so simple for out-of-towners.
|These pictures are getting pretty old
now. My son is 12-years-old and
Cowbell Central is 10-years-old.
|The cowbells have changed over the years
as I have found new suppliers. I hope to
keep improving and offering new products as
well as promotions in the future.
|As you can guess, that's my son and me.
Conner was 20 months old at the time of the
pictures (Summer 2000). My wife, Cameille,
took these pictures at our house in
Chattanooga, TN. We love it here. Too bad it's
so far away from Starkville. I still get season
tickets every year for football games and catch
an occasional baseball series at Dudy Noble
Field. It's worth the 5 hour trek!
|I created this business as a source for
funding Conner's Educational IRA. In August
2010, I turned it into a fulltime business.
The Cowbell Tradition
From the Mississippi State University website:
The most unique and certainly the most resounding symbol of Mississippi State University tradition is the cowbell. Despite decades of
attempts by opponents and authorities to banish it from scenes of competition, diehard State fans still celebrate Bulldog victories
loudly and proudly with the distinctive sound of ringing cowbells.
The precise origin of the cowbell as a fixture of Mississippi State sports tradition remains unclear to this day. The best records have
cowbells gradually introduced to the MSU sports scene in the late 1930s and early 1940s, coinciding with the 'golden age' of
Mississippi State football success
prior to World War II.
The most popular legend is that during a home football game between State and arch-rival Mississippi, a jersey cow wandered onto
the playing field. Mississippi State soundly whipped the Rebels that Saturday, and State College students immediately adopted the
cow as a good luck charm. Students are said to have continued bringing a cow to football games for a while, until the practice was
eventually discontinued in favor of bringing just the cow's bell.
Whatever the origin, it is certain that by the 1950s cowbells were common at Mississippi State games, and by the 1960s were
established as the special symbol of Mississippi State. Ironically, the cowbell's popularity grew most rapidly during the long years
when State football teams were rarely successful. Flaunting this anachronism from the 'aggie' days was a proud response by students
and alumni to outsider scorn of the university's 'cow college' history.
In the 1960s two MSU professors, Earl W. Terrell and Ralph L. Reeves obliged some students by welding handles on the bells to they
could be rung with much more convenience and authority. By 1963 the demand for these long-handled cowbells could not be filled by
home workshops alone, so at the suggestion of Reeves the Student Association bought bells in bulk and the Industrial Education
Club agreed to weld on handles. In 1964 the MSU Bookstore began marketing these cowbells with a portion of the profits returning to
these student organizations.
Today many styles of cowbells are available on campus and around Starkville, with the top-of-the-line a heavy chrome-plated model
with a full Bulldog figurine handle. But experts insist the best and loudest results are produced by a classic long-handled, bicycle-grip
bell made of thinner and tightly-welded shells.
Cowbells decorate offices and homes of Mississippi State alumni, and are passed down through generations of Bulldog fans. But
they are not heard at Southeastern Conference games not legally, at least since the 1974 adoption of a conference rule against
'artificial noisemakers' at football and basketball games. On a 9-1 vote SEC schools ruled cowbells a disruption and banned them. *
This has done little harm to the cowbell's popularity, however, or to prevent cowbells from being heard outside stadiums in which the
Bulldogs are playing. They can still be heard at non-conference football contests, as well as other sporting events on campus. And
bold Bulldog fans still risk confiscation for the privilege of keeping a unique Mississippi State tradition alive and ringing at SEC affairs.
It should be noted that prior to the 2010 football season, a compromise was reached by the SEC school's presidents and Scott
Stricklin, the AD at MSU. Cowbells are now legal at Davis Wade Stadium, but can only be rung at specified times. Violations of the
new agreement will lead to fines on a game-by-game basis and the compromise will be revisited at the end of each season.
Click the link to the left to review the MSU
cowbell compromise and learn how ring