Detroit Tigers did a Haka dance celebration (GIF)

After winning Game 5 of the ALDS 3-0 over the Oakland A’s on Thursday, the Detroit Tigers gathered at the mound and did a chant and coordinated dance. Many were wondering what exactly the team was doing, and we learned it’s their version of the Haka dance.

The Haka dance is described on Wikipedia as a “traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand.” The New Zealand national rugby team aka “All Blacks” made the dance well known by doing it before competitions. They actually still do.

To see the real Haka dance performed by the All Blacks, watch the video below:

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Video: Dwight Howard Does the “Haka” with New Zealand All Blacks

A little digging on Wikipedia has taught me that the “Haka” is a dance ritual that the All Blacks, a New Zealand rugby team, has made popular. The version of the dance they perform is a war ritual that was originally performed by warriors before a battle. In that sense, it probably isn’t something that is supposed to be entertaining and/or humorous. When Dwight Howard has a go at it, it becomes a joke for us. Check out the Dwight Howard Haka video that Sports by Brooks Live passed along:

We all know Dwight likes to mess around as evidenced by hilarious interviews like this one, his tendency to make fun of LeBron James, and the reenactment he pulled off when Derek Anderson’s meltdown was fresh news.  This takes it to a new level.  Guy is clearly in the zone getting his warrior on.  He should teach the Orlando Magic to do the dance before home games next season. Oh, wait…

WAC Won’t Let Hawaii Dance Haka

First we had June Jones complaining that nobody would come to the Island because Hawaii would kick everyone’s ass there. Now we have officials penalizing them for doing nothing more than a pre-game dance routine. From the Honolulu Advertiser via Ben Maller:

Prior to the opening kickoff against Louisiana Tech, the Warriors were assessed a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Bulldogs won the coin toss, opting to receive, and the Warriors were forced to kick off from their 15.

The NCAA has rules against unsportsmanlike conduct, but none specifically mentions the haka, a Maori war chant the Warriors began doing last year before games.

“I checked,” Jones said of the guidelines. “We didn’t do it on the field. We did it 75 yards away from the field. … It’s not (unsportsmanlike). It’s a cultural, spiritual thing. It’s unfortunate. There’s no unsportsmanlike issue in the book covering this.”

See, that’s what happens when you can’t beat Hawaii on an even playing field. Personally, I think they’re getting hosed on the call. The WAC is culturally biased. Let Hawaii dance, let them do the Haka. Otherwise, you will pay the price.