Things to Say to Break the Huddle
The origin of the football huddle is debatable. Some stories say it was invented by a deaf player to avoid giving the other team strategy clues with sign language. Others suggest the huddle itself was introduced as a tactic to confuse the opposition. Today, the huddle allows players to converse and communicate about upcoming plays.
Tradition and superstition are strongly associated with team sports. If you are the speaker in the huddle and can't come up with anything creative to to break with, don't fret. Sticking with something basic will do the trick. Teams usually have plenty of traditional chants to choose from. Examples may be as simple as shouting “Go” before the name of your school or mascot. Talk and answer works well, too, where one person says “Go” and the others respond. Repeat three times, getting louder each time.
Focus your chant on the opposing team. Instead of “Go,” shout “Beat” followed by the opposition's mascot or team name. Often, schools have nicknames or inside jokes directed at other teams, especially in the case of significant rivals. Create a short phrase utilizing one of these snubs, but keep it reasonably tasteful when the opposing team is within earshot.
In less serious situations during practice, a funny break can ease tension and encourage a positive attitude from players. Use a quote from a teacher or coach. Many school faculty members are well-known for an often-used phrase or piece of advice. Pick a silly line from a movie most of the players enjoy, even if it isn't sports-related. Many Will Ferrell movies, for example, provide plenty of ridiculous quotes to choose from, such as “Stay classy” or “You're my boy, Blue!” Funny, current song lyrics work well also.
Numerous football movies have contributed to the popularity of heart-wrenching huddle speeches. In “Remember the Titans,” which is based on a true story, Coach Bill Yoast fervently declares: “You make sure they remember, forever, the night they played the Titans.” “The Replacements” is a more humorous film that features a dramatic huddle scene in which quarterback Shane Falco states: “Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever.”
Alison Datko is a professional editor with experience as a journalist, writer and blogger. She contributes to a variety of print and online publications, specializing in music, food, art, fashion and culture.