As Cal Poly football geared up for its Blue-Green Rivalry game with UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night, the university’s athletic director had an unusual request for local grocers: Don’t sell tortillas.
For those unaware, sneaking into tortillas and then throwing them onto the field during the annual Mustangs vs. Gauchos game has become a problematic tradition in recent years — a tradition that Cal Poly Athletics hoped to curb by asking The Groceries of San Luis Obispo remove the tortilla packages from their shelves before the game.
According to Mustang News, who first reported on Tuesday the call from director of athletics Don Oberhelmanthe tortilla tossing tradition was actually stolen from UCSB, where it has endured for decades.
The practice is technically prohibited in the Spanos stadium as it can pose a security and cleaning problem, and in recent years has come under fire for potentially racist connotations.
Oberhelman told Mustang News he called a number of San Luis Obispo grocery stores asking them not to sell tortillas before Wednesday’s game.
“I hope our local grocers will cooperate with us in this endeavor and understand that we have to protect our students from themselves because many of them don’t understand how bad it is,” Oberhelman told Mustang. News.
Oberhelman did not respond to a request for comment from Tribune.
It was unclear Wednesday how many local grocery stores — if any — had complied with the request.
The kick-off of the Blue-Green Rivalry match is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.