Building Camaraderie Through Sports Traditions
With the holidays come long-time traditions among family and friends, which got me thinking about the rich culture of traditions and rituals in sports. These traditions build camaraderie between families, fans and especially the athletes on the court and field.
I took a look at just a few of the many unique college sports traditions. These three traditions highlight the competitive nature, passion for the school, and the fun and unity traditions bring to all of those involved. In no certain order, here are some unique traditions we love at Upper Hand and wanted to share.
Texas A&M "Ball 5” Chant: After an opposing pitcher at Blue Bell Park walks an Aggie Batter, the fanbase chants “Ball 5”. The number continues to increase until the opposing pitcher gets a strike. This chant, growing louder as the ball count increases, begins to affect the pitcher as the fans hope for another walk. Texas A&M is known for having one of the greatest all-around student sections in college sports.
Taylor University (IN) 'Silent Night': Taylor, located approximately 65 miles northeast of Indianapolis, is a member of the NAIA with 2,500 students on campus. Their tradition is unlike any other in college basketball. The Friday prior to finals week is the highly anticipated ‘Silent Night’ game. Fans show up in costumes of all sorts and remain “silent” until Taylor scores the 10th point. Once the team scores the 10th point the gym erupts in cheers and excitement . This tradition, filled with passion and enthusiasm, has proven crucial, as Taylor has never lost the 'Silent Night' game.
University of West Virginia - Take Me Home Country Roads: The last tradition I wanted to mention is a fun tradition coming out of Morgantown, WV. In 1971, John Denver recorded his famous hit "Take Me Home Country Roads" describing the beautiful countryside and back roads of West Virginia. This song can be heard on college campuses across the country, yet it hits home in West Virginia. After every home victory, the fan base locks arms with one another to sing the song. In 2014, the song officially became the anthem of the state.
The Power of Tradition in Sports
Just like with our family and friends, rituals in sports bring a team together, create a stronger bond and hopefully in the end, stronger players as well. For the fans, and alumni at these Universities, we all know that players come and go, yet tradition never dies. These traditions demonstrate the competitive nature of sports, passion for the school and the fun sports can bring to a community.
We hope with the start of the new year, you and your team find opportunities to strengthen your current traditions or start new ones! When all is said and done, traditions are what keep us going when times get tough, and make us realize what is most important to us.