Sports With the Most Unique Fans & Traditions
Sports fans run the range from those who never go farther than the couch to watch a football game, to those who clap politely at a US Open golf championship near their home, to the soccer fan who’s been to every one of his team’s matches in the last half century. Among those who title themselves ‘fan,’ dedication and expression vary widely. Most of us know a football fan who at least watches all the games of the NFL playoffs, but there are some sports fans out there that get a whole lot more into it.
4 Unruly Sports Fan Traditions
Hockey – Legend of the Octopus
In 1952 a Detroit Red Wings fan tossed a dead octopus onto the ice as a good-luck charm. Its eight legs symbolized the eight wins Detroit needed to win the Stanley Cup. 50 years later ‘octopus throwing’ is an accepted, if technically disallowed, tradition practiced by fans carefully following the three “octoquette” rules.
Football – Body-Slamming Tables
Buffalo Bills fans have a reputation for a variety of enthusiastic and unruly habits. One of those is smashing plastic tables. While some fans don’t relate to the practice, others throw their whole bodies (literally) into it, jumping from tailgates and vehicle roofs to body slam plastic tables in half, WWE-style. One fan even initiated his newborn son with a mini table-smashing ceremony.
Football – Expansive Home Decorations
Many sports fans wear clothing and accessories identifying ‘their’ team. Some fans add a little body paint or tattoos to their ensemble. But some Seattle Seahawks fans extended the decorations to their homes. In Arizona, one fan painted his house Seahawk colors and painted a Seahawks logo into his lawn. In Washington, another fan used over 175,000 lights and setup outdoors music speakers to create a Seahawks themed house that drew so many visitors the town had to rethink traffic patterns and signage in the neighborhood.
Soccer – Celery Throwing
Fans of England’s Chelsea Football (soccer to Americans) Club have a tradition of throwing sticks of celery onto the field during game time. Started sometime in the ’80s, the tradition has mostly been halted by club authorities. But, fans still take the tradition on the road to share it with unsuspecting opponents.