OT: Favorite playing traditions?

Submitted by Magnus on February 11th, 2013 at 6:41 PM

I'm specifically looking for football traditions, but this could be applied to any high school sport.

Those of you who are/were high school athletes and coaches, what are some of your favorite traditions from your playing days?  I'm talking about things like team dinners, team breakfasts, the mascot running out to the middle of the field during pre-game, particular pre-game chants, post-game chants, etc.


The Baughz

February 11th, 2013 at 6:46 PM ^

I coach high school football and we have dinner for the players every Thursday night along with a special guest speaker. We run out and touch a banner before the game similar to what Michigan does. Nothing special, but the kids and coaches and enjoy it.

The Baughz

February 11th, 2013 at 7:10 PM ^

We've had two former players from our school end up in the NFL and they came and spoke. Last year was the 20 year anniversary of our state championship team. About 20 of those members came in and spoke. Also, the coach of that team came in and spoke as well. Usually they are ex coaches or people from the community.

The Baughz

February 11th, 2013 at 6:46 PM ^

I coach high school football and we have dinner for the players every Thursday night along with a special guest speaker. We run out and touch a banner before the game similar to what Michigan does. Nothing special, but the kids and coaches and enjoy it.

R Kelly

February 11th, 2013 at 6:57 PM ^

We always passed the game ball around the bus during our trip to the stadium until everyone got a chance to hold it for a minute... not really sure what purpose it served, but It seemed cool at the time.


Edit: We also used to have the word "WIN" carved into the cement on the bottom step of our bleachers, and every player and coach would say "win" every time they hit the step and took the field.  It was always neat to see alumni come back and make sure they always said "win" whenever they stepped on the field too.  


February 11th, 2013 at 6:57 PM ^

Besides chasing skirts, the thing our team seemed to enjoy most were things that brought us together, the coaches extending football activities outside of the field. We had formal dinners, and lessons in table manners, ect, we would get extra reps or laps for swearing in school, or for general improper conduct off the field, the coaches would stamp out any kind of hazing or teasing by the upperclassmen, the 3 teams would all try to attend each others games, and support or mentor where we could, we had organized and informal extracurricular workouts and conditioning outside of practice, and during the offseason, would all get together and watch college games, and bet extra workouts on whether Michigan or State would win. Stuff like that really made it special, and many of us are still friends.

Wenham Wolverine

February 11th, 2013 at 7:02 PM ^

Post game meals after road games were where my team bonded the most, particularly if we won. Nothing unique about it, just a very positive experience, and one I remember fondly.


February 11th, 2013 at 7:06 PM ^

After a win our secondary coach would lead a chant in the locker room. He would say one line at a time and the team would repeat it like a bunch of howling wolves. Ask me in fifty years and I will be able to repeat the following.

When you see us coming,

You better step aside,

A lot of teams didn't,

And a lot of teams died,

We got an offense of iron,

And a defense of steal,

If one don't get ya,

The other one will!


February 11th, 2013 at 7:11 PM ^

Favorite? Bus rides after wins on Friday nights. Nothing better.

Or waking up at 4:15AM every day before school for practice in a 10 degree ice rink in the middle of winter.


February 11th, 2013 at 7:12 PM ^

We had a special song that we sang that was several years old and a long standing tradition. After a win we would drive the bus through town screaming the song out the windows. It was a lot of fun and developed great comradery


February 11th, 2013 at 7:18 PM ^

We had a chant, we did it in the street on Thursday night after our players only team meetings.

Rat shit, bat shit, dirty old cock

69, douchebag, tie it in a knot

hey team, say team, what you gonna do?

eat some buttfuck, nibble gobble chew.


We recite this three times, starting with a whisper, and finishing as loud as we could.

Don't ask me why, but we got in a lot of trouble when we did it before the state finals and there was a TV news crew filming us.


February 11th, 2013 at 7:20 PM ^

My high school football team would always come out of the locker room for pregame stretches in a single line. Each person would slowly walk down the sideline slowly and then sprint to their respective line once they hit the goal line. There's always something oddly intimidating about a 50+ guys slowly moving in unison. There unfortunately weren't really any other traditions of note past that.

As far as my own personal sports tradition, in baseball, whenever I started a game as pitcher, I'd throw all my 1st inning warm up pitches over the catcher's head into the backstop (except for the last throwdown pitch). The catcher and my coaches hated it, but everyone got a kick out of how scared/confused the first few batters were. The first inning was more often than not 3U3D and all K's (the rest of the game, not so much).


February 11th, 2013 at 7:52 PM ^

Mine is about high school football. Every Monday, our coach have helmet stickers for a win and individual accomplishments. Before a game we would give a big chain/lock to one of our d tackles to wear around his neck in pre game warmups and brought a sign out with a chain attached that said "you are only as strong as the weakest link"...team dinners every Thursday. Man, those were the days.


February 11th, 2013 at 7:52 PM ^

From each sport that I played in HS:

For football - team dinner thursday night before games.  It was always a great meal, done potluck style, with different position groups tasked with brining in various courses.  One kid on the team was Filipino and his mom would make a huge batch of fried rice every week, that was good stuff.  Best meal I had every week during the season.  

Also for football, we got a new team shirt each year, and on the back were footballs that were stamped with each year we had made the playoffs.  It was a great motivator because you didn't want to be the team to break the streak that had been active for about 15 years when I joined the team.  To my knowledge, the streak is still going on.

For lacrosse - we had a loose ball drill we did every practice called Man/Ball.  You form up in three lines.  The first player in each line lays down on their back.  The coach would throw out a ball and call out a number (1, 2, or 3).  The numbered player had to get up try and get the ball.  The other two players had to try and stop him by any legal means necessary.  The two players were supposed to call out man or ball, indicating which one they were going for.  It always got rough with a ton of great checks, and it was amusing to be watching your teammates go, especially those times when both players yelled "man" and creamed the guy whose number was called.  It was a ton of fun.


February 11th, 2013 at 8:03 PM ^

I loved that drill, and i use a variation of it for the girls that i coach in lax.  We did it a little different though, the man in the middle was by themself and the outside were a team (same concept just ours was identified before the drill started).  I personally loved being in the middle as it allowed me to beat the two outside guys.  I played pole so any time i could beat two shorties i was happy.


February 11th, 2013 at 7:59 PM ^

When i played lacrosse in HS, i loved when we would walk out of the locker room/off the bus in two single file lines onto the field for our warm-ups.  The sound of all of the cleats clicking off the cement floor was awesome.



February 11th, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

Kinda became a tradition at my hs for a handful of years. Had a rap that was made up by a kid that was three years older than me. Actually very funny. I'll try to remember as much as I can. Got a tackle,chew tobacco.... got a guard, hit you hard, got a center, eat you for dinna...got a full, run like a bull... Got a end, he wanna win, got a split, don't take no shit... It gets fuzzy after this but it went something like what's our team colors, red, black and white.... Once we get started, we can't be stopped. Lol followed by yelling, screaming, and lots of swearing. Good times.

E. Gordon Gee

February 11th, 2013 at 8:41 PM ^

I played high school basketbll for a small private school on the East side (blue) of the city I was in and we played our rivals from the West (red). Before the varsity and junior varsity games, parents and students of both schools would come together at the hosting school and make lunch for both teams before the games. We got a chance to interact and mix in with the players from West during lunch. After lunch, rest up, practice in the gym, say a unified team prayer between both teams mixing the red and blue and then start playing. We hated each other but their was always a sense of respect between us and the kids from West. Made for a good interaction between both fans in players. 



February 11th, 2013 at 8:45 PM ^

Our football team had a taco dinner on Tuesdays, and then a carb-load dinner the night before games.

The night before games I would always take some girl to the ridge that overlooked our field. Then go home, drink 2 gallons of water and sleep.

On game days we always gathered as a team underneath a redwood tree that was inside the track (we Believe it to be the only track/field in the country to have a tree inside it) and said a prayer. When we ran onto the field the three captains (I was lucky to be one my junior/senior years) would run onto the field holding the American flag, a pirate flag (the mascot) and the gadsden flag (don't tread on me)

God do I miss football


February 11th, 2013 at 8:57 PM ^

I cant claim it for my own but my late father claimed he got kicked off the Pontiac Central cheerleading squad in the 30's for the leading the student body in this one....

Pontiac one, Pontiac twice

Holy Jumping Jesus Christ

Are we with them? With a smile

We've been with them a hellofa while

Hidy, Didy, Christ Almighty Who the Hell are We?

Zip, Zam, God-Damn



February 11th, 2013 at 10:36 PM ^

Here's a few I've either done with my teams ( I coached) or heard of other teams doing:           

1.Each player eats a tablespoon of honey then sticks bare chest in front of a cold shower.     

 2. All players and coaches take a swig of pickle juice from the 'lucky' jug.                                

3.Always let the other team take the floor 1st.We had a long standoff with one of Bill Norton's Brother Rice teams in the late 70s which created a very short warmup that night ( they finally took the floor 1st)                                                                                                                         

4.With exactly 2 minutes left on pregame clock I went to locker room for final pregame pee and yes I always washed my hands.                                                                                                   

5.Every player and coach rubbed the ball boys head as we left the locker room (please,no PennSt jokes)


February 11th, 2013 at 11:04 PM ^

My favorite memory from HS FB was having to be at school by 8 am on Saturday mornings after games to watch film. I hated it at the time, but looking back, the camaraderie and fun we had those mornings was great. The one time it was horrible was when we lost a 18 point lead in the 2nd half to a pathetic Flint team, and had to have a full practice after film. That was a long Saturday.

Man, I wish I was back in HS/college.


February 11th, 2013 at 11:45 PM ^

we always had dunk contests at the feeder middle schools/elementary schools, and the practice before games we would do a half court shooting contest, those were pretty fun. 


February 12th, 2013 at 12:01 AM ^

We turned the locker room lights off and listened to "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins. At some point during the song you button your chin strap and that tells your teammates that you are ready to go.


February 12th, 2013 at 12:47 AM ^

This surely isn't unique to our swim team, but it's fairly unique to swimmers; since you shave your head and Bic it down real smooth before your big final meet (divisions for us) we always had a haircut party the weekend before where the seniors had the privilege of cutting everyone's hair into just the dumbest looks imaginable.  Checkerboards, reverse mohawks, shaved to look like a bald guy, ear-to-ear pinstripes, a big X....whatever floated through the imagination of the guy with the clippers.  Which you then wore to school all week.


February 12th, 2013 at 1:15 AM ^

Every team dinner coach had us go around the room and answer a question. It was a different question every time. Things like, what's your goals, what's your favorite xxx... It was a good team bonding experience. (Easier for a basketball team which has fewer players). In high school, coach convinced the parents to do a different type of "receiving line" we would walk through before games. It was always a great reminder of who you were playing hard for and who was cheering for you. Same coach also made us lie down on the court before every practice, listen to meditation music, and visualize playing in the state tournament for what seemed like a really long time. And then we would "practice harder than any other team in the state". Even though we were laying there silently, I think it did kind of bring us together.


February 12th, 2013 at 11:41 AM ^

We always used to have team dinners on Thursday nights, offensive and defensive. Then we wore shirt and ties to school on Friday, have a mass at our chapel or the opposing schools cafeteria (which was brutal cause students from the other schools would heckle us if they found us) then we'd get a pump up speech from the head coach, and then we all went into the locker room, turned the lights off and played some DMX. On the field we tried to do a Drew Brees pump up thing, and after the game if we won, the whole student body stormed the field. If we won or lost the student body came out and we all said a prayer (I went to a Catholic school) together lead by the captain of our team.


February 15th, 2013 at 11:57 AM ^

The team had a tradition of eating a raw egg prior to the game.  It started back in the 1950s when the coach was a veteran of WWII and told the team how he would eat raw eggs he foundin farmhouses to relax.  We had one crazy guy who went around and ate peoples egg shells as well.  

Being froma  farm heavy area we also had farm implements painted up with team colors every year and we'd go riding around in them for the game.  I arrived at one game on the roof of a combine that was blasting Ludacris "Roll Out" from a jury rigged sound system.  

The egg thing ended in 2006 after a parent complained about the risks from raw food.