The 10 Best Sports Team Traditions
There are many great sports traditions out there, like the Gatorade bath, the playoff beard, a pie in the face after a walk-off, and the exchanging of jerseys, but there are only a few traditions that are unique to a single team.
The best team traditions are the ones that can be appreciated by all sports fans and not just the local fan base. They stand out for any number of reasons, and many of them have been copied over the years for the pure fact that they’re so impressive.
So forget your alliances for a moment and let’s take a look at The 10 Best Sports Team Traditions…
10. Chicago Blackhawks: National Anthem
Before every home game, tenor Jim Cornelison revs up the crowd with a one-of-a-kind rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”. Although his voice is quite powerful, it’s the 20,000 cheering fans rocking the Madhouse that makes this version so unique. It's American. It's Chicago. It's awesome.
(Skip to 1:50 on the video)
9. Florida State Seminoles: Chief Osceola and Renegade
At the beginning of every FSU home game, Chief Osceola rides his horse Renegade onto the field and throws a flaming spear into the painted logo on the 50-yard line. If that’s not cool enough, the university was actually given permission to recreate this warrior leader by the real Seminole tribesmen. Hard to argue it’s greatness with something as rare as that.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers: Terrible Towel
It’s cost-efficient, it’s fun, and it’s one of the easiest traditions around. Steelers fans have been waving their bright yellow towels around since the mid-70’s, and it’s as much of a symbol as it is a tradition. And, honestly, there’s just something really inviting about spinning a towel around your head like a madman.
7. Oakland Raiders: Raider Nation
Known simply as the “Black Hole”, this specific section of the Oakland Coliseum pits road warriors and outlaws alike, all decked out in silver and black paint from head-to-toe with elaborate costumes to match. And by costumes, I mean spikes and shoulder pads… manly shoulder pads.
6. New York Yankees: Bleacher Roll Call
At the top of the first inning, a group of “extremely loyal fans” from the outfield (Section 203, to be exact) start chanting each players name until he acknowledges the call with a tip of the hat, a wave, a salute, or some other improvised move.
Sidenote: This section used to be so belligerent during games that beer was banned from being sold in their area. The ban has since been removed, but it still goes to show you how "extremely loyal" these fans truly are.
5. Detroit Red Wings: Octopus Toss
This tradition is not only unique, but also surprisingly creative. Originally done to symbolize the number of playoff victories needed to reach the Stanley Cup (where each leg represents a win), the octopus toss has now become a staple in Detroit hockey. Besides the playoff beard, this might be the dirtiest hockey tradition to date.
4. Hawaii Warriors: Haka or Ha'a Chant
The Warriors football team may have taken this routine from the New Zealand All Blacks rugby squad, but it's great nonetheless. It's intended to be a battle challenge and it honestly is one of the coolest spectacles around. There truly is nothing like it in American sports and it’s a must-see for all fans.
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish: “Play Like a Champion Today”
Admit it. You made a sign like this when you were younger and taped it above your bedroom door. It’s okay. We’ve all been there. This quote is probably the most widely known phrase in all of sports history and it just bleeds blue and gold. It’s simple, smart, inspiring and 100% Notre Dame football.
2. Chicago Cubs: “Take Me out to the Ball Game"
No one will ever be able to match Harry Caray's version of this popular song, but his legacy lives on during every seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field. All clubs do this now, but we have to give a shout out to the team that made it the thing to do during baseball games.
1. Green Bay Packers: Lambeau Leap
There are now many imitators around the league, but there is only one originator of this famed crowd jump. Love it or hate it, the Packers created greatness with this one. The fans enjoy it, the players enjoy it, and all opponents have duplicated it, which makes this the best team tradition in sports.