By Mike McCann
As sure as there will be sports, there will be traditions that go along with those sports. No matter what level of athletics you participate in or watch, you are bound to see teams doing obscure things that make you wonder what the heck is going on. Traditions are present all around the world, not just in sports. But some of the best and most noticeable traditions are those that occur between the lines.
If you were to turn on the TV and watch a NHL hockey game right now, you would undoubtedly see tremendous playoff beards, a prime example of tradition. Or next year, when the Detroit Red Wings take the ice, I can say with near 100% confidence that someone will throw an octopus on the ice.
Well those traditions, although not shown on national television, are also present in the everyday lives of Kalamazoo College athletes. Every year during a home basketball game, you can bet on the Men’s Swim Team running through the gym in their Speedos.
Most Hornet traditions are not quite as revealing as that. At the end of every football season, the seniors commit an item that has been important to them to a bonfire to recognize the commitment they have made to the program for the last four years. Also, many partake in the time-honored tradition of no-shave November. The women’s soccer team begins each year with a scavenger hunt. The baseball team scrimmages each other at the end of the season, with each member playing a position he does not normally play, and the results are always quite interesting.
Tradition is as much a part of sports as it is any activity. These traditions are cherished, defended, and looked forward to by all who partake in them. They are certainly a large part of the athletic experience at Kalamazoo.