MINNEAPOLIS - Before Memorial Stadium. Before Northrup Field. There was Ski-U-Mah.
But where did that come from? Jake Ricker. with the University of Minnesota Athletics Office, shares the story.
"Back in the 1880s we had a couple of rugby players out at Lake Peppin watching some canoe races. They heard some guys yelling 'Ski-U.' -- at least that's what they thought they heard. They mistook it for the Sioux word for victory, seeing that they were cheering on the winning canoe racing team on the lake."
It turns out that that's not what it means. But don't let that get in the way of a good story.
"They added 'Mah,' which is a nonsense syllable, it just rhymes with rah. So it can be part of a nice rhyming cheer," said Ricker.
And Ski-U-Mah was born.
From the rugby team, it went viral -- as we say -- becoming a part of four Minnesota school songs. That includes the popular rouser written in 1909 and, even earlier, a Ski-U-Mah number composed by Louis Rosenberger for the U football team in 1908.