Top 20 Most Played Out Sports Traditions

Ed NoveloCorrespondent IIIJuly 29, 2011

Top 20 Most Played Out Sports Traditions

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    We've seen them time and time again—those played out sports traditions that we wish would just go out back and die already.

    Yet they somehow continue to persist and flourish, and worse, most show no sign of slowing down. But maybe there's something we can do about that.

    So join me, if you will, in this action-packed slideshow, as I play hater and count down the Top 20 Most Played Out Sports Traditions.

    Let's put an end to these, starting with...

20. LeBron James/Kevin Garnett/Others Powder Toss

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    The Tradition

    The game's about to start. The crowd is amped and the players pumped. Then LeBron James comes up to the scorer's table, grabs his talcum powder, sprinkles it on his hands and...

    Clap! It goes flying into the air.

    Why It's Played Out

    It's been around since the days of Michael Jordan, and Kevin Garnett did it long before LeBron did. By the time it reached "The King," it was as played out as every Black Eyed Peas song in existence. 

    "I've got a feeling" that it's time for this to go.

    What They Should Do Instead

    Toss your championship rings into the air. 

    Oops, sorry LeBron. I should have thought of something that all three of you could do. Maybe Jordan will lend you one of his, but I wouldn't count on it.

19. Kids Singing the National Anthem

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    The Tradition

    A big game is about to start, and out steps someone to sing the national anthem. You hope it's a major recording artist, but instead, it's a kid.

    You go to your happy place for the following few minutes.

    Why It's Played Out

    I get it—it's cute. I guess. But sports aren't cute. Have you seen Sam Cassell?

    Let the kid sing it on YouTube, and I'll watch it there. I'm sure it'll get a lot of hits, and everyone will be happy.

    What They Should Do Instead

    Give me Whitney Houston! Is she still alive? Is crack still wack?

    If not her, any adult with a beautiful, grown-up voice. Get me pumped and loving my country, because this just isn't doing it.

18. Blue Angels Flyover

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    The Tradition

    A major sporting event is about to get under way—probably the Super Bowl—the national anthem has been sung and suddenly, swoosh, the United States Navy's Blue Angels fly over the stadium, scaring the bejeezus out of everyone.

    Why It's Played Out

    How many people really care about this? If it didn't happen, would you be disappointed? They do it year after year, and it's really not all that exciting.

    I'm sure it costs a lot of time and money, all for very little.

    Put them back in the hangar.

    What They Should Do Instead

    Strap some jet packs onto the cheerleaders and let them fly over. They're just sitting there anyway. I know it would make a lot of people happy.

    In fact, how about we make that a tradition?

17. Beach Ball at Games

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    The Tradition

    You're standing in the crowd, minding your own business and enjoying the game, when suddenly a beach ball comes flying at you.

    You punch it out of your face, not because it's fun, but rather because you're annoyed as hell. You look for who sent it your way so you can yell at them later.

    Why It's Played Out

    Why was this ever played at all? It's incredibly stupid. What's a beach ball doing at a football game, anyway?

    Nothing about this is cool or makes sense.

    What They Should Do Instead

    They need to designate a particular area "The Beach Ball Zone." Then anyone who actually likes this tradition can sit there and quit bugging me and everyone else.

    And when they're punching around their beach ball, we can throw eggs at them.

16. Sideline Interviews

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    The Tradition

    You're watching the game at home, and in the middle of the action, producers cut to a reporter on the sideline talking to a coach or player.

    It's a way of letting you at home know what the coaches are thinking.

    Why It's Played Out

    It's important to note that most of these interviews are wholly uninformative. They're an unnecessary break in the action that contribute nothing.

    If I have to hear, "We just have to play better defense and execute" one more time, I'm going to jump-kick my TV.

    And hopefully Tony Siragusa is on it.

    What They Should Do Instead

    Two words: Joe Namath.

    Only interview drunk people.

15. Ceremonial First Pitch

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    The Tradition

    Baseball season is about to start, and what better way to kick off a 162-game season than letting a special guest throw the first pitch of the season?

    It's magical.

    Why It's Played Out

    They've been doing it since 1910, and it was as unexciting then as it is now. It seems to be more of a formality at this point.

    What They Should Do Instead

    They should actually let someone swing at the first pitch.

    How awesome would it be if someone took George Bush Jr. deep? There's nothing else you can read into that sentence.

14. Growing the Playoff Beard

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    The Tradition

    It's playoff time, and for an athlete, that means no shaving your beard until you're either eliminated from playoffs or you win it all.

    Why It's Played Out

    For goodness' sake, it's been done!

    And for some athletes, like Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants, the tradition never ends, even after the season is over.

    If you rock the beard no matter what time of year, fine, keep on sporting it. But if you are just doing it for the playoffs, let it go.

    Just let it go.

    What They Should Do Instead

    If they insist on growing anything out, it should be a mullet. Better yet, make it a rat's tail.

13. Shaving Cream in the Face

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    The Tradition

    You're an MLB player, and you've just hit a walk-off home run. You're rounding the bases and thinking about how awesome you are. You've hit home plate, and your teammates are showering you with love.

    A reporter walks up to you and wants to know how you feel. You say, "Great!"

    Then, smack! Shaving cream pie in the face!

    Why It's Played Out

    Do high fives just not do it anymore? 

    In addition to it being corny, should they really be slamming a pie into a person's face? Sometimes, people get hurt.

    Clowns slam pies in faces.

    What They Should Do Instead

    Chug a beer!

    Go grab the beer bong, or maybe Das Boot. And if he can't finish it, put the ol' dunce cap on him.

12. Singing the Same Stupid Rally Songs!

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    The Tradition

    Your team is kicking ass, and suddenly over the speakers blares Queen's "We Will Rock You" or "We Are the Champions."

    There are many songs that can be mentioned here.

    Why It's Played Out

    Do I really need to say? There are thousands of sounds that a DJ can choose from, yet they continue to choose the same stupid songs!

    Enough already!

    Isn't variety the spice of life?

    What They Should Do Instead

    Death metal.

    Enough with this feel-good garbage. If you really want to get people pumped, blare some Cannibal Corpse.

    That'll put some hair on your son's chest.

11. Running Live Animal Mascots Across the Field

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    The Tradition

    You're a college football fan. The game is about to start, and out comes your team's animal mascot to get your juices flowing, whether it's a dog, pig, tiger, eagle, horse or buffalo.

    You watch as a group of students guide them across the field. You listen as the crowd roars, as you can't help but wonder why it's so awesome.

    You look down at your beer and remember.

    Why It's Played Out

    There's nothing that awesome about this. I know college students are easily impressed, but when do we start questioning what we "woo!" at?

    In the case of Ralphie the Buffalo, he'll kill you with extreme prejudice if given the chance. He's not running out of enjoyment; he's running in the hopes of reaching the exit.

    Can we stop parading these animals around already? It's played out.

    And isn't this why we dress some dork in a costume?

    What They Should Do Instead

    Put the dork in a costume on a leash and run him across the field.

10. Champagne Celebration

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    The Tradition

    A major sports team has just won a championship. They're ecstatic and can barely contain their excitement. They go back to the locker room, where bottles of champagne await them.

    They pop them open and pour them out all over each other in a moment best described as temporary insanity.

    Why It's Played Out

    For one, it's an unbelievable waste of alcohol, and I'm not fine with that.

    Second of all, it's been done for far too long. I know athletes aren't known for being the sharpest tools in the shed, but can't someone come up with something better?

    And what if one of them is a recovering alcoholic?

    What They Should Do Instead

    I propose the championship piñata.

    You can't find a person who doesn't love a piñata. It'll bring some culture to the team, and you can fill it with congratulatory notes and candy.

    It can be a fun, wholesome time!

    Plus, you can make it look like the opposing team's logo.

9. Kiss Cams

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    The Tradition

    You're at the game, and suddenly over the JumboTron you see a couple fans. There's a "Kiss Cam" sign around them, and in front of 30,000 people they're asked to lock lips.

    Hey, maybe that person is even you!

    Why It's Played Out

    I don't know about you, but I don't care to watch other people kiss. Unless the chick is hot, but even then, probably not. Now if there was two hot chicks...

    No. Let's just do away with the kiss cam.

    What They Should Do Instead

    How about the "Flash Us" cam?

    Now that's something I wouldn't mind looking at. Of course, they would have to carefully screen their candidates.

8. Free Throw Congratulation

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    The Tradition

    You're watching a basketball game, and a player has just hit a free throw. He sticks his hands out, and every single one of his teammates congratulates him.

    They even do this when the free throw is missed.

    Why It's Played Out

    You know how many free throws are taken in any given game? Do they really need to get a high five after every single one of them?

    It's completely a formality at this point. Guys sometimes even do it when their teammates aren't around. That's how deeply ingrained it is into their brains.

    No more!

    What They Should Do Instead

    Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

    So you made a free throw. It's a free throw! You should make it! You're a professional athlete. The ritual hand slap is overkill.

7. Seventh Inning Stretch (Take Me Out to the Ball Game)

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    The Tradition

    It's the middle of the seventh inning, otherwise known as the "Seventh Inning Stretch," and someone starts singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," encouraging you to sing along.

    You contemplate suicide.

    Why It's Played Out

    Well, the song sucks, so there's that. Plus, baseball games can sometimes be long and uneventful, and I'm not sure this is the way to wake you up.

    And it's like singing "Happy Birthday." You only do it because you feel obligated. And you can't wait for it to end. Especially if you're singing it in the office.

    What They Should Do Instead

    I don't know. Free hot dogs? Bring some hot chicks out in bikinis and have them start shooting shirts into the stands. That never fails.

6. Streakers

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    The Tradition

    You're watching the game when suddenly a fan runs naked across the field to a mixture of cheers and boos. Players stand around pissed, and someone has the unfortunate job of having to tackle the streaker.

    Why It's Played Out

    What's it all for is what I want to know. The things people do for a few minutes of fame. It's certainly not clever, and all it effectively does is stall the game that people paid money to see.

    Nobody paid money to see your pasty ass.

    What They Should Do Instead

    Should this happen, I think the players should be allowed to beat the streaker unmercifully. It's called street justice, and it's the only way to go.

5. Rookie Hazing

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    The Tradition

    You're a rookie in your respective sport. You're excited and can't wait to meet your teammates. You walk into the locker room, but instead of hearing, "Hey, how are are you doing?" you see one of your teammates holding hair clippers. He tells you, "Pull your pants down," or something to that effect.

    Your heart races, mostly because you know your life will never be the same.

    Why It's Played Out

    Do players really need to do this to establish a hierarchy? Yes, they're rookies, but there are other ways to put them in their place.

    Sometimes it even creates confrontations.

    What They Should Do Instead

    Instead of hazing the rookies, they should just designate the kicker/punter as the year-round punching bag. Shave their head. Tie them to a flag pole. Kick them in the nuts when you need to vent.

    But don't piss off teammates at important positions.

4. Throw It Back!

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    The Tradition

    The opposing team has just hit a home run on your home turf. You catch the ball in the stands, and instead of keeping it, you throw it back.

    You don't want that garbage!

    Why It's Played Out

    I understand you love your team, but a ball hit by a professional athlete is something you want to keep. It's a souvenir that will always remind you of that day.

    So what if everyone is telling you to throw it back? It's easy for them to say! If they told you to jump off a bridge, would you?

    I sound like my father.

    What They Should Do Instead

    Keep the damn ball.

3. The Wave

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    The Tradition

    You're sitting in the stands, when suddenly you notice people standing and throwing their arms up in unison and then sitting quickly. It continues down a line of fans, and it's coming right for you.

    At first you think it's a sign of the apocalypse but soon realize this "wave" will not hurt you. At least physically. You will feel like a dork.

    Why It's Played Out

    I feel intense rage when I see the wave. No, I will not get up. Aside from the next two things on this list, nothing irritates me more at a sporting event.

    What's fun about it? You know who would do the wave? Ned Flanders. People who say "gee golly" do the wave. If I was at the game with a date and she did it, we're done. I don't care how hot she is.

    What They Should Do Instead

    It's not what they should do instead, but more what you should do instead.

    If you see the wave coming at you, get a good running start and uppercut that sucker right in the chops. And by that, I mean punch the person next to you.

2. Gatorade Shower

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    The Tradition

    You're a head coach. Your team has just won a major game, maybe even the biggest game there is. You're celebrating with your players when suddenly you feel an icy cold liquid strike you.

    You wonder, "What the hell?" and pray that it's not too cold out.

    You die later that day of hypothermia.

    Why It's Played Out

    How many coaches have had Gatorade poured on them? We all know it's coming, and I can't imagine anybody at home finds it all that awesome.

    Anything that has been done over a thousand times has to be considered played out.

    What They Should Do Instead

    Hit them with a chair, like in wrestling. That'll get their blood flowing.

    I would advise wearing a ski mask.

1. Storming the Court

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    The Tradition

    You're in the stands at a college basketball game. Your team is the underdog, and it's about to pull off a "monumental" upset. The clock's ticking down.

    And you storm the court! It's the greatest moment of your life, and for some reason you seem to believe your team has just saved the world.

    It did not. And I hate you.

    Why It's Played Out

    It's so overdramatic.

    Yes, it's great that your team just won, but it's nothing more than that—a win. This isn't the movie Independence Day. Your team didn't just thwart the plans of an alien civilization hell-bent on conquering your planet.

    I see it far too often, and I can think of nothing more that is played out.

    What They Should Do Instead

    Stand there and cheer at your seat like every fan does in every other sport. Realize there isn't a Hollywood film crew on you and nobody just cured cancer.

    Don't succumb to mob mentality.