The Haka is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance and challenge from the Maori people of New Zealand. Recently, however, the Haka dance has made its way to football teams across the country as an intimidation tactic and a stamp of pride among teams and teammates.
The New Zealand rugby club was one of the original teams to introduce the Haka dance to sports. Now, Texas State looks to be next on the list that includes the University of Hawaii, BYU and locally, Trinity University in San Antonio. Bobcats are intimidating the opponent with one of the most exciting cultural dances in history – count me in.
At the spring game last Saturday, the Maroon squad began doing the Haka to the surprise of everyone in the stands and even their fellow teammates-turned-opponents. It was certainly a cool thing to see, especially since Bobcat football really hasn’t fired anyone up in the last few years with wins.
Defensive lineman Kamu Taulelei, who is from Fagatogo, American Samoa (just north of New Zealand) offered up the idea of the Haka dance at Texas State to the Maroon team and said he felt “humbled how everyone respects it. They wanted to learn it but wanted to learn it the right way.”
Coach Franchione and Taulelei will introduce it to the whole team later this off-season to get all the Bobcats involved and educate the team on the dance.
If the Haka dance doesn’t ring a bell, just type in Haka dance into YouTube. It certainly is something that needs to be seen and has a way of firing up even the dullest of individuals.
If the Bobcats are going to do the Haka dance this year and beyond it is only a matter of time before people demand, and rightfully should, for Franchione to get out on the field and do it with the team. I really need to make a bet with him to get that to happen for everybody. Franchione, however, at least for the time being, doesn’t feel like he can contribute much.
“I’m not very good at, personally,” Franchione said. “I don’t have to play in the war, I just have to manage it. I don’t know if that would do much for anybody.”
Fran’s dancing may not do much for intimidation. He has his own ways of doing that. But for everyone watching, it would bring joy to an entire city, a “must shake your hand for your contribution” type of moment.
But seriously, the Haka Dance is phenomenal and a great way not only to fire up the team and intimidate opponents but to energize the crowd and keep new Bobcat fans coming back. Hey, that’s a great way to get rid of the first-half tailgaters too, who slouch into Bobcat Stadium in the third quarter and leave ten minutes later. It’s win-win.
Being in favor of this is like being in in favor of getting a $20 bill just for being awesome. The Haka deserves a place here at Texas State and should be cheered in San Marcos. Watch out Texas Tech, the Bobcats are coming for you. Not on our turf – a clear message that will ring in the ears of the Red Raiders at least for the pregame.
The Haka is the next tradition to come with Texas State football. I’m fired up already.