Ask Americans about the best traditions in sports, and they're likely to name things such as singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at Wrigley Field, Ohio State's "Dotting the I," and DeShawn Stevenson(notes) getting a terrible tattoo every preseason. But our country's best traditions sometimes seem quaint in the face of international practices. For instance, the All Blacks, the New Zealand national rugby team, precede every match with a performance of the Haka, a form of traditional dance for the native Maori people. It's an imposing and impressive display that makes our pregame huddles and starting lineup intros look like child's play.
On Sunday, the Haka got an infusion of American flavor when Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard performed it alongside the under-20 rugby team of New Zealand at the adidas EUROCAMP in Treviso, Italy. You can watch the video above, courtesy of the fine people at adidas. Howard acquits himself rather well and not surprisingly appears very into the whole routine.
Plus, he now has another thing to add to his ever-expanding list of comedy bits, currently headlined by his eerily similar impressions of Stan Van Gundy and Charles Barkley. Everyone wins!