18 November 2006

The Power of the Haka

Yesterday in the Wall Stree Journal there was an article about a high school football team in Texas that has incorporated the Haka into their pre and post game routine. Reading this brought me back to when I went to BYU-Hawaii in 2000.

It was a Friday night and the Basketball team was playing our rival University of Hawaii. The game was close and this was a pivotal game in the season. During half time we had our normal "dancing girls"-as my friend Bubba used to call them-do their routine. It didn't take the whole half-time though so there was some time left over. We were all talking amongst ourselves waiting for the team to come back on the court when a loud scream grabbed our attention.

I looked down on the court and there were about 15 guys all lined up facing the opposing teams seating area. With fire in their eyes and their tongues sticking way out they chanted loud and intimidating words at the UH fans. Then they started crouching really low and slapping their thighs and their chests all the while taking steps toward the UH fans.

What I was watching was completely new to me considering I'm from a small sheltered town in San Diego and didn't have much exposure to Polynesians growing up. I instantly felt the power that the Haka can bring to a group. All the BYU-H students were immediately on their feet cheering these Kiwi's on in their cultural war dance. There was no doubt that these guys were serious and the second half of the game was going to be nothing but business.

I have never seen anything like the Haka incite such excitement in fans and teams like this does and such fear and intimidation in the opposing team as well.

If you are ever going to battle or playing a super important game, I suggest you and your teammates learn the Haka and see what power it has on the fans and the other team.

If you have never seen the Haka done before check out this video.

1 comment:

Erin Ashton said...

BYU does that at their football games too! It's fun to watch.