What Are Sports' Most Irritating Traditions?

Matt SavopoulosCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2008

Traditions are everywhere in sports. Some of them are great: the Stanley Cup, the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, the President throwing out the opening pitch on Opening Day.

But some traditions really stink. Whether they just don't make any sense, project an arrogant facade, or just grate on my nerves for no reason whatsoever, there are  few things in sports that I just can't stand.


The Hogettes

Usually, when a bunch of fat guys put on women's clothing and parade around in public, they get written up. In Washington, they're lauded as superfans. I don't get it.

This could just be me, being stuck in the heart of the D.C. fanbase day in and day out, but I can't appreciate a bunch of dudes in their wives' clothing.


"The" Ohio State

Because you constantly need to separate yourself from all the other Ohio States floating around out there. This is one of the biggest displays of arrogant, stuck-up behavior I can think of. Every other school in the world is fine with just saying the name of the university, but not you guys: you're THE Ohio State.


My Old Kentucky Home

I was tempted to put the entire Kentucky Derby in this place, but I actually enjoy the race and wouldn't want its surroundings to drag it down. But really, this song kills me.

I've been waiting for half an hour for the darn horses to get going, and now you're going to have to play the stupid song before we can start it? It drags on forever, nobody outside of the state of Kentucky gives a hoot, and it's primarily an excuse for NBC to show all the rich snobs in their ridiculous hats with their $7 mint juleps.

Put the horses in the gates, let 'em loose, and let's get the damn race going.


The National Anthem

Go ahead, rip for me being unpatriotic. I don't wear a flag lapel pin either. But listening to these people sing the Star Spangled Banner before the games is absolutely brutal.

Most of the time they can't attract anybody good, so the quality is lacking. Then these performers get in the spotlight and don't want to go, so they drag out the song to forever. I've heard renditions that last 30 more seconds once they reach, "And the home of...". It's absurd.

Play a recorded version, or institute a time limit on these hacks. I'm all for supporting the country, but first and foremost I'm in the stadium for the game.


Stadium In-Game Presentation

I'm not sure if this honestly counts as a tradition, but it's still something that irks me. When I'm at a game, I want the crowd to be left largely to its own devices. Don't flash up the catchy little animation on the Jumbotron encouraging us to "Make Some Noise!" on second down and seven in the second quarter.

If it's a genuinely big play, the crowd will react on its own. We don't need your help knowing when to get enthusiastic. The NBA is by far the worst about this, although MLB and the NFL aren't too far behind.

The NHL is OK about this, but I'd still like to hear less music piped in before faceoffs and such.


The Masters

So the PGA goes and plays a tournament at the same stuffy country club every year. Big deal. I'm just amazed Augusta National consented to let Tiger on the grounds.



I know some people really love the UEFA Cup, but to me it's just a second-tier Champions League. I have very little interest in watching the fifth place team from France take on the Belgian league runner-up.

It's just not interesting to anybody who is neither a fan of one of teams involved, a native European, or a soccer nutcase. Even the final this year was a second-rate game between some Russian team I'd never heard of and a Scottish club that I only knew because my team bought a player from them once.

If people love that intra-European competition so much, why don't we just expand the CL?


Competitive Eating

It's disgusting. It serves no purpose other than to make me lose my appetite. I just don't get why it's so popular.

The hot dog eating competition on July 4 that has suddenly turned into such a big deal? I'd rather be watching the baseball game. Or the NFL Network replays of old NFL games. Or a soccer game on that weird foreign channel that's being broadcast in French. Or pretty much anything.

Did I miss any? Want to tell me I'm an idiot? Go for it.