Sunday, October 14, 2012

Team Spirit

In the span of a recent 100 mile drive, I passed through three towns in which the locals had tied school-colored ribbons throughout the area.  Arriving home I noticed the green and white ribbons displaying our local school district's colors, too.

I was thinking as I drove that day about where we are in the football season - heading down the home stretch at least for the high school teams.  Basketball is right around the next corner.  Most schools minimally have cheerleaders to stir up the spirit for many of the different team sports.

How do these various public displays of team spirit get started?  The ribbons, for example.  I wonder who first thought of the idea, because the idea sure has caught on.  Was it the idea of a cheerleader, the girlfriend of a football player, or perhaps the art teacher?  Now you see them during football season in many towns.

When I was younger I played basketball on my high school girls' team, and then later on my college team.  Before each game started, and then at the conclusion of each time out, we did the "hands in" routine.  How did that tradition get started, and I wonder who first had the idea?  Many, many teams do this now.  In fact I think it is unlikely that you wouldn't see a team do the "hands in" as least once before or during a game.  This practice has even extended from the playing field to the corporate office.

And how did the first ever "high five" come about?  I believe the "high five" is now universal in its meaning.  Heck, we've even trained our dog to "high five," and babies learn to do this at a very early age.  I get a kick out of watching as the starting line-ups are introduced prior to a basketball game.  Nowadays it's likely that each player will launch himself out onto the court when announced, chest butt the others already out there (now there's another weird display of spirit), and then high five all around.

There's yet another show of team spirit that I gotta wonder about.  I'm referring to the practice of mobbing the team.  That is, running in toward a huddle and then jumping maniacally onto each other's backs and pounding on the others' heads and backs.  Typically we see this with sports involving larger teams like football and soccer.  How did this phenomenon develop?  All historical sports accounts I have seen and read indicate that teams presented themselves long ago with more pomp and circumstance, not the wild frenzy we see nowadays prior to a game or immediately following a score.

The latest creative means of showing one's team spirit I've seen these days is to strip half naked and paint yourself with your team's colors or some spirit letters.  Spectators that do this seem to get a lot of publicity, for they are basically freezing their tushes throughout an event that is several hours long, and acting totally crazy all the while (to stay warm I think).

Whatever is the latest trend for team spirit, I'm all for it.  After all, I'm a people watcher, and watching all of these crazy antics just makes the event that much more entertaining.  Go team! 

The ultimate display of team spirit

1 comment:

  1. All that hands in and the like is a great way to spread germs (grin).