The League

Peter Schaffer
NFL Agent

Peter Schaffer

Agent and professor of sports law

NFL Has Many

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To truly answer the great tradition question, you must define "tradition" first. The reality is there are two types of traditions, league/event and individual. If by tradition you mean a sporting event, obviously the NFL's Super Bowl transcends any other sporting tradition since its inception in 1966. The Super Bowl transcends all other championships such as MLB's Opening Day or World Series, the Kentucky Derby, Indy 500, NCAA's March Madness, NHL's Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals, Wimbledon, college football's Rose Bowl, World Cup and yes, even the Masters.

The Olympics could challenge, but recently they have faded in comparison to the Super Bowl and only come around every four years. Without getting into individual team rivalries, other NFL traditions worthy of mention include the Thanksgiving Day games (part of Americana now... mud bowl, watch game 1, turkey, watch first half game #2, fall a sleep, wake up for apple pie, watch some of game #3!), The Tuna Turkey Bowl and even Monday Night Football. Other NFL events such as Training Camp opening days, the Draft and the Combine have become increasingly popular traditions with more in depth fan interest, broadcast analysis, marketing and information flow over time.

However, like the sport of Hockey and the NHL with its great traditions, football's subtle traditions don't lie with the highly publicized events but the little known traditions and secrets that lurk around each clubhouse, training camp and pre-game ritual. Hockey has its traditions such as throwing a hat on the ice when a player scores three goals, No one mentioning to a goalie that he has a shutout during the game and you goon the goalie and the team goons you with the general rule being that hockey polices itself.

Football as well has time honored individual traditions that are second to none. Start with the tradition of rookies buying Krispy Kreme donuts on Saturdays, carrying the helmets to the locker room of the veterans at training camp and the mandatory rookie dinners at Morton's. Other time honored traditions that separate football include the traditional Gatorade over the coach, the end zone spike/celebration and the concept of teams placing a bounty on the heads of any opposing player who unnecessarily shows up an opponent (who can forget Roy Williams crushing Terrell Owens when he defaced the star at Texas Stadium). All in all traditions are an integral part of the NFL and one of the reasons the game is revered.

By Peter Schaffer  |  April 8, 2009; 10:17 AM ET  | Category:  NFL , Peter Schaffer Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Actually, it was George Teague who tackled T.O. at midfield, not Roy Williams.

Posted by: MrRon | April 8, 2009 6:03 PM

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