Reader PaperSmyth and I have been chatting via the comment boxes lately about rituals, symbolism, and team loyalty. When I mentioned that wearing an Auburn University cap brings back all sorts of memories of my Dad, and wearing a University of South Carolina cap brings back both memories of my Mom and memories of my own time at USC, Papersmyth responded that she has used the earthshaking, earsplitting experience of The Tunnel Walk at University of Nebraska home games as a metaphor for what The Last Trumpet in the book of Revelation might be like:
This is obviously a pregame ritual designed to psych up the home team and home fans and intimidate the visitors, right?
Then, as it happened, I listened to the most recent episode of Father Roderick's Daily Breakfast Podcast. Father Roderick has been visiting Australia and New Zealand speaking to members of the Australasian Catholic Press Association. His host in New Zealand mentioned a local rugby team, The All-Blacks (so named because of their uniforms), that performs a haka, or a kind of war dance used by New Zealand's Maori people, before every game. The haka uses chanting, shouting, aggressive body movements, and fierce facial expressions to convey the message to opponents: "We are bad dudes, and we will mess you up."
In other words, it's a pregame ritual designed to psych up the home team and home fans and intimidate the visitors:
And it's quite effective! So, PaperSmyth, I'll see your Tunnel Walk and raise you one haka. Maybe if the Gamecocks did that before every game . . .