Favourite news story of the week…
November 25, 2007
is about the US college football team that performs a haka before each game.
From the Herald story:
The Jefferson Democrats have seven Tongan players on their team who have taught the haka to the rest of the squad, the cheerleaders, and even some admiring younger pupils.
“It feels good that people want to do what we do for a change,” Tongan linebacker Mike Moala, one of the leaders of the haka told the Oregonian newspaper. “It makes us feel kind of famous”.
But that’s not the best bit. Because the officials are, well, officious, they aren’t really allowed to do it on the halfway line (they’re supposed to do it from the sideline. As if!) so every game starts with a penalty against them.
That’s right, and they do it anyway.
Jefferson coach Anthony Stoudamire allowed his players to vote on whether to keep doing the haka to rival teams, even though it would cost them a penalty.
Inevitably the players voted to maintain the tradition and defy the authorities, and starting every game with a 15-yard penalty has taken nothing away from their abilities as a team.
They performed the haka and took the penalty before last week’s game with Klamath Union, and promptly marched into the third round of the play-offs.
Wonder what those guys are up to in four years’ time…