By Jamaal Everett
From Super-Bowl winning champions to Olympic medal winning bob-sled teams, nearly every team has a pre-game ritual to get them prepared for their contest. One ritual that is prominent as of late is the infamous “Win” chant. The chant was created by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and the players said it before every game on their way to Super-Bowl forty-four.
Other notable rituals you may remember include: Remember the Titans; “We are the Titans, the mighty mighty Titans” and the trademark New Zealand All Blacks Haka chant. Each ritual is just as unique as the other.
Wittenberg athletics are no different. Teams develop strong bonds while they practice and prepare for their sport during their season as well as in their off seasons. Out of those memorable moments teammates come up with different mottos or sayings that they may say during the course of their season.
Junior wide receiver Garth Gilbert says that pre-game rituals “get me pumped up.”
One ritual that Gilbert and the football team make sure to do at the end of every football game is ring the victory bell and sing the fight song to their fans after they have earned a win. Gilbert says he feels “accomplished and proud to be a tiger” when he’s singing the fight song after a tiger victory.
Yet before teams can win they have to be mentally prepared to win.
In addition to the fight song, the football team and other tiger squads have different pre-game rituals. The Wittenberg women’s basketball team likes to stay loose before their games by dancing. Before the lady Tigers take the floor, junior power forward Kim Replogle says the team gets together and forms a mini circle in which teammates tell other players to go into the circle and perform their signature dance.
Replogle has seen it all, from the reeling in of the fish, to the recent favorite, “the Duggie.” In addition to their dancing they have a chant that gets them mentally prepared. In one particular line of their many chants, they say, “It’s time to get loud, it’s time to represent.” The pre-game chant is where teams flick the switch from being playful to getting down to business.
Each team’s play on words gets them psyched or focused before entering the field of play. While walking two-by-two down the back hallway of Wittenberg’s HPER center, senior forward Taylor Goss explains that the women’s soccer team sings “Oh Wittenberg is Wonderful,” to the beat of when the saints go marching in. This is followed by high fives as the team enters the stadium.
The volleyball team starts loose, and gets serious. They begin to get mentally prepared by listening to music. Junior setter Hallie Donathan says some of their favorites includes “Cotton Eyed Joe,” “Get Outta Your Mind,” “Waving Flag,” “Get Me Bodied,” and even a little “Waka Waka” to get the blood pumping. Yet soon after they are all business, as they change their jerseys and get ready to take the floor, they say, “Take no prisoners.”
If you find yourself at any of these sporting events, make sure you are loud and energetic. After players are pumped up, they could use the crowd’s excitement to sustain that energy for the duration of the contest.
(Ben Groff / firstname.lastname@example.org)