The Nine Craziest Professional Sports Hazing Rituals
4. The New Orleans Saints Made Their Players Run “The Gauntlet”
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Mike Ditka’s second season with the Saints started in controversy before the team even had a chance to take the field. The veteran players lined up the rookies, put pillow cases over their heads, and made them run through a “Gauntlet” of players swinging sacks of coins and fists over their heads. Some of the rookies sustained bruises, blurred vision, and a broken nose before the season started, one of which ended a career and prompted a federal lawsuit. As shocking as this sounds, it’s not like the Saints weren’t used to being routinely beaten on a regular basis before they won the Super Bowl. So technically, it’s not hazing. It’s practice.
3. The Oakland A’s Made Pitcher Huston Street Play Dress-up
Playing dress-up is nothing new when it comes to rookie hazing, but the A’s raised the bar in 2004 when they made their new pitcher practice in a get-up that only could have been even more embarrassing if he was the catcher.
Relief pitcher Huston Street had to report to part of his training camp in a schoolgirl outfit that made Britney Spears look overdressed. He not only had to spend time walking to and from camp in the outfit, but he also had to practice in it. Do catchers have a call sign for throwing away your dignity?
2. The Pittsburgh Pirates Make Their Players Dress Up in God Knows What
Pittsburgh’s attempts at a rookie Halloween party make the A’s and the Yankee’s costumes look like well-tailored Hugo Boss tuxedos.
The team’s veterans regularly raid the dumpsters of Halloween costume stores and make their rookies wear everything from patriotic stripper regalia to female fat suits. It’s like watching Mardi Gras through a pair of the world’s weakest beer goggles.
1. The San Diego Padres Made Their Rookies Wear Hooters Uniforms
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The Padres, however, not only win the best award for dress-up hazing but quite possibly for the most humiliating hazing since fraternities found at least three new uses for goats.
Their rookies had to wear Hooters uniforms, complete with the extremely short orange shorts during their pre-season training season. They not only had to wear them during practice, but even on the plane ride to the training camp. On the plus side, none of the players required a patdown as they walked through airport security since they could clearly see that none of them were packing.