The NFL has a long-standing tradition of veteran players on each team initiating their team’s rookie players by hazing them. While hazing has been a rough subject around the nation due to some incidents that have had serious consequences, NFL hazing is usually harmless and all in good fun.
Rookies carrying veterans’ helmets and pads is customary, but some teams go above and beyond. The most famous hazing in recent memory may have come in 2010, when the Denver Broncos gave Tim Tebow this very memorable haircut.
Many NFL head coaches have banned hazing, or at least seriously frown upon it, so much of the rookie hazing that actually takes place goes unknown. Some reports of hazing incidents, however, reach the public eye.
Bad haircuts seem to be a popular trend in modern NFL rookie hazing, and there have already been some hilarious haircuts to surface this year.
The Miami Dolphins have gotten in on the act early, with a humorous haircut for second-round pick and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. Additionally, defensive tackle Paul Soliai created designs for many of the rookie defensive linemen, creating patches of bleach-blonde hair to blend with their natural hair colors, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The Dolphins were outdone in the haircut department, however, by their AFC East rivals, the New York Jets. Pictured below (courtesy of Larry Brown Sports), the Jets shaved “B+” into the back of rookie strong safety Antonio Allen’s head.
It remains to be seen whether the seventh-round pick will make the grade when the Jets cut down to their 53-man roster, but his teammates certainly gave him an interesting look.
Another legendary form of football hazing is taping a player to the goal post, and according to 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, that still happens at Minnesota Vikings training camp, even since head coach Leslie Frazier imposed a ban on hazing.
The radio station’s website reported that rookie defensive tackle Chase Baker was not only taped up, but soaked with ice, water, Gatorade and Pepto-bismol. Reportedly, Baker was not too thrilled about the latter, but it’s hard to imagine anyone taking enjoyment from having a pink liquid used to treat nausea, indigestion and diarrhea poured upon them.
One more report of rookie hazing came from Pittsburgh Steelers training camp, from which Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweeted about the rough treatment that second-round pick and offensive tackle Mike Adams received:
Rookie hazing. Teammates shake the port a potty while Mike Adams is relieving himself.
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly_Trib) August 1, 2012
By now, all NFL newcomers should be aware that rookie hazing is an ongoing reality, and one must always be aware and prepared for when that day could be their time to suffer the consequences of initiation. It may be cruel, but in some camps, that time may even come when a man is using the restroom.
Dan Hope is an NFL draft Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_Hope.