Leading Off

Leading Off: Some sports traditions are meant to last

There are some great traditions in sports, locally and nationally.

The Eppies Great Race, opening night at Raley Field, the Pig Bowl (now Guns and Hoses) and UC Davis beating Sacramento State every year in the Causeway Classic are local traditions that come to mind.

Nationally, it’s hard to beat pro football on Thanksgiving Day or college football on New Year’s Day, and Opening Day in baseball is always special.

Another great tradition is Wimbledon, where players compete in all-white clothing on plush grass courts. Roger Federer, however, says the “almost entire white” rule is too strict. But that’s what separates Wimbledon from the rest.

If they do away with the all-white-clothing rules at Wimbledon, they might as well pull up its iconic grass courts and replace them with the hardcourts found at most neighborhood parks.

Other great sports traditions?

• NHL teams exchanging handshakes after a hard-fought playoff series. They don’t shake hands during the regular season.

• The winner of the Masters being presented the green jacket from the previous year’s winner. The champion keeps the jacket for one year and then returns it, where it’s only to be worn on the grounds at Augusta, Ga.

• If you’ve heard Michael Buffer belt out “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!” before a championship fight, the hairs on the back of your neck still might be standing.

• Lighting the cauldron at the Winter and Summer Olympic Games.

– Victor Contreras


What to watch/do

Baseball, A’s vs. Blue Jays, 1:05 p.m., O.co Coliseum, CSNCA: Here’s a great tradition: Baseball on the Fourth of July, at the ballpark or at home.

Today’s poll

Should Wimbledon loosen its “almost entirely white” clothing rule ?

• Yes, it’s too strict

• No, it’s a good tradition

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports

Thursday’s results

How long will you remember U.S. soccer goalie Tim Howard’s 16 blocked shots?

• Forever: 29%

• Until next World Cup: 12%

• Until NFL season: 18%

• Tim Howard, who?: 41%

Total votes: 121