The sports world’s weirdest traditions
by MATT GORDON
The sports world has always been a way to start traditions within a family, whether it is watching the big game at home with your family every week or going to a game with your friends once a year. It has also come up with traditions of its own, slightly more complicated and deeper than your average family traditions. Each sport has its own unique tradition that can never be repeated, at least to the same extent. Here are some of the wackiest and most popular traditions in sports today.
Indianapolis 500: Watching cars turn left for four hours may not seem very exciting for you, but this sport is still deeply ingrained in many traditions. One tradition stands out from the crowd and is the tasty treat of the winner: drinking a huge jug of milk after winning the Indianapolis 500. Just watching the dairy drink run down the winner’s ecstatic face is a tradition in and of itself. Started in 1933 by Louis Meyer, this tradition stands alone as one of the oldest in sports.
Hockey: The city of Detroit has always been known for its cars and insane dedication to their many sports teams. One tradition in this city has remained constant throughout the city’s possibly most popular sport and team: the Red Wings. Every playoff season, the hockey team’s fans show their insane dedication by throwing octopi onto the ice before the action gets started. This tradition was first started in 1952 during the Stanley Cup playoffs as the eight-legged cephalopod symbolized the eight wins it took to win the cup back then.
Baseball: America’s oldest sport is full of many traditions, but none of them are as prestigious as the seventh-inning stretch, found in every single game of professional baseball to this day. This tradition is said to be started by either Brother Jasper or former President Howard Taft. In 1882, Brother Jasper, former Manhattan College baseball coach, is said to have made the spectators stand up and stretch, hoping to gain a cheerful emotion from the crowd to will a win in his team. It is disputed, however, that in 1910, President Taft rose to stretch his back in the seventh-inning of a Washington Senators game. Upon seeing their leader stand up to stretch, the spectators also rose and created a new tradition.
Football: In Green Bay, football is their life and the beloved Packers are in a mix of traditions, being the first Super Bowl winners. The Lambeau Leap is a common tradition displayed during games. As a Packers player scores a key touchdown, players will often leap into the stands at the back of the end zone and be held up by the nearby spectators and patted on the back by others as a congratulatory gesture. This leap was popularized by Packers Safety LeRoy Butler after he jumped into the stands after a fumble recovery in 1993.
College Basketball: If you have ever watched a College Basketball Championship game, you know about the cutting down of the nets afterward by the winning team. Ever since North Carolina State head coach Everett Case cut down the net for a souvenir after a Southern Conference Championship win in 1947, teams that win their respective conferences and even the National Championship have cut down the nets and kept them with their trophy.