With probably the second most famous holiday upon us and a whole plate of NFL games on tap to nap through after filling our stomachs, now is a good time to look at some sports traditions that helps make the sports experience what it is. While these traditions may not make sports the juggernaut they are today, they are some that are just needed and would be sorely missed if they were to ever leave the games.
5. Champagne Celebration
Some of the greatest moments in sports can be seen in watching how people react to adversity and success. Raw human emotion is something natural and riveting and you don't get emotions running any higher than after a team wins a championship. One of the greatest traditions after finally accomplishing a season goal, heck, a lifetime goal, is heading back to the locker room and celebrating. In sports, this usually means that grown men are screaming and running around spraying each other with champagne while reporters try to stay professional in the face of flying bubbly.
4. Dumping the Gatorade
Another timeless tradition in almost every sport is the dumping of the Gatorade on the unsuspecting head coach after a big win. There's nothing that shows how much a player respects his coach like dumping gallons of flavored beverage down his back. Of course, when we are talking football in the freezing cold of late December, well, let's just say the coach might not like that for long. Then again, if he's getting doused then his team did something right so I'm guessing he wouldn't mind that much.
3. Ceremonial First Pitch
Baseball is one of America's most renowned and beloved pastimes and though the overall popularity of the sport may have declined a bit, nothing can change it's place in our culture. One of their many traditions and the one that kicks off the season, is the ceremonial first pitch. This usually involves someone famous throwing the first pitch of the game. As an interesting fact, the first time this was done in the United States was in 1910 and the person honored was President William Taft.
2. The Singing of the National Anthem
Another key tradition is the singing of the National Anthem before a game. It is a timeless tradition that is meant to honor our great nation and those who sacrificed themselves to make it what it is today. Another traditional aspect of this is that the people who sing this range from little kids to famous singers. In any game, you never know who they will cart out to sing one of the most difficult songs in history.
1. Thanksgiving Football Games
I would have to put the NFL's Thanksgiving football games as the number 1 tradition in sports because of the significance attached to the day. Many a persons childhood memories revolve around filling their stomachs on Thanksgiving day with family and friends and retiring to the living room to watch football. Football on Turkey day is easily this holiday's version of Santa Claus on Christmas. It's just a staple of the day and it wouldn't be the same without it.
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