Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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The All Black’s War Dance

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In New Zealand, rugby is a huge sport. For any of you that have not watched a rugby game, the relatively new movie Invictus shows part of the New Zealand ritual around rugby. Rugby is a physical sport played closely similar to football. Although it differs greatly from football, the contact sport with its field resembles an American football game. But unlike most of the American sports, rugby is played internationally, and sport fanatics from the entire nation come together to watch a home game. I found it interesting that New Zealand’s much feared rugby team has a ritual of a dance to introduce their games. The war dance is called the New Zealand Haka, and in their native language they perform a very aggressive dance to intimidate their opponent. I found this interesting because these rituals aren’t carried into other teams, let alone other sports.

Surely, the New York Jets have the J-E-T-S chant, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have the Terrible Towels, but these are fan rituals. Actions that shake the stadium to incite adrenaline into their team. I cannot recall any specific team rituals that are done for their crowd, or to instill fear into their opponents. In fact, most sports have regulations against such actions of “unsportsmanlike conduct.” I know I would get jacked up if the Jets had a significant entrance to a sporting event, but still, that doesn’t prevent me from screaming and doing my best to shake the stadium and rowel my team up.

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Written by BYAMnick

May 10, 2011 at 2:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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