To many whom attend sporting events, fandom is more than sitting in their seat and cheering on their favorite team, to them being a fan is about the traditions. Here are 5 traditions that go beyond the “Seventh Inning Stretch” and “The Wave”.
- Oakland Raiders – Few sports fans are as terrifying as the Oakland Raiders. Clad in spikes, chains, and silver face paint that would give Gene Simmons pause, the fans of the Oakland Raiders have made Oakland Coliseum an uncomfortable place to be a visiting fan, especially if you’re from San Diego.
- 300 Spartans at MSU – In 2006, a movie was released that would forever change the way MSU fans got hyped in Spartan Stadium. This film was called 300 and featured an army of 300 Spartans versus an army of 300,000 Persians. Michigan State University rallied behind the movie and in particular scene where the Spartan leader rallied his troops with a speech featuring the line “Spartans, what is your profession?”. The clip has been used at Michigan State football home games since, with the crowd responding by grunting “Hoo Hoo Hoo”.
- Slippery Rock score at The Big House: Perhaps the strangest tradition at U of M football games is the announcement of the Slippery Rock score. Started in 1959 by announcer Steve Filipiak it has since become tradition to declare the Slippery Rock score to the cheers of Michigan fans.
- Rat Trick – Every hockey fan knows about Detroit’s pension for hurling octopi on the ice at Red Wings games, but there’s another throwing tradition out there born from legend rather than symbolism, the Rat Trick. During the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals, the Florida Panthers went on the deepest run of their history, fueled by Scott Mellanby’s unusual take to pest control. Prior to the team’s home opener, Mellanby disposed of a rat in the locker with his hockey stick and then went onto score two goals with the same, thus the “Rat Trick” was born. In celebration fans peppered the ice with plastic rats for the remainder of the Panther’s playoff run, and it has since returned to the fan base in 2012.
- Vancouver Green Men – Few fans have the honor of being inducted into the ESPN hall of fame, and only two fans have ever been inducted together, Force and Sully. Known more commonly as “The Green Men” the pair gained recognition in 2010 for their green body suits and staged antics behind the penalty box at Vancouver Canucks playoff games. For 5 years they delighted fans and harassed visiting players before announcing their retirement in 2015.
Post your favorite fan tradition below. Want to learn more about Fantelope