Barry Fry's Peeing Ritual
In an attempt to cure his team's witch doctor curse—because there's so many of those going around in the West Midlands of England—former Birmingham City manager Barry Fry pissed in all four corners of the pitch to try and turn the team's fortunes around.
The Red Wings’ Iced Calamari
The bizarre tradition of hurling octopi onto the ice at Detroit Red Wings games began in 1952, when brothers Pete and Jerry Cusimano tossed the eight-legged cephalopods onto the ice to represent the eight wins it used to take an NHL team to win the Stanley Cup.
Penn isn't really known as a football powerhouse (despite billing themselves as "college football's most historic program") but thanks to their Ivy League-educated fans having a full-on food fight between the third and fourth quarters at each home game, they take their place on our list. The tradition of throwing grilled bread began so they could still technically “toast” the guy. Oh college kids, you so crazy!
The Rally Cap
When the ‘77 and ’78 Texas Rangers first took their caps off to help “rally-up” their teammates to come from behind in games, who knew they’d start such a phenomenon? The Rally Cap rose to national prominence during the 1986 World Series between the Mets and Red Sox, when TV cameras showed New York players wearing the hats in the dugout to help spark a rally.
The belief that growing one's whiskers out actually increases the chances of winning a championship began with the NHL's New York Islanders from 1980-83, when the team lifted the Stanley Cup four years in a row. Since then, if there's a title to be won, most athletes are pulling the Grizzly Adams look in fear that they be the player who ruins the magical run.
Notre Dame's "Play Like a Champion Today" Sign
The slogan’s been associated with the football program since the 1800s, but the sign only became a staple for players to touch in the 80’s thanks to former head coach Lou Holtz, who wanted to pay homage to the school’s commitment to excellence. Love it or hate it, it’s become one of the biggest motivational quotes ever.
Charging The Mound
Most of us sports fans know the unwritten rule of baseball: If a player on your team gets hit by a pitch, that player’s pitcher gets to retaliate with a blow to the other team’s batter. It’s unclear exactly when and where the tradition started, but it’s assumed it happened early on when a cranky pitcher just had to let off some steam. It’s part of the game, but fights on a baseball field always seem to end in a no-hitter—with no one ever getting a hit to the face.
The Post-Win Gatorade Shower
Picking up a bucket of flavored water and tossing it all over your coach is, for some players, the highlight of winning a game. The tradition began in the mid-80’s - some claim it was started by the Bears in ’84, but others insist its enduring popularity comes from the Giants, who showered coach Bill Parcells 17 times in 1986.
Shaving Cream Pie in the Face
Most commonly seen in baseball after a walk-off hit, there's no better way to show your appreciation for a teammate coming through in the clutch than by smacking them in the face with a mountain of shaving cream. The tradition’s origin is somewhat murky, but former Yanks hurler A.J. Burnett is the player most associated with popularizing it, having been the main culprit of pieing teammates in the face during postgame interviews.