Like any annual event, the Tug of War has developed its own mythology and rituals.

The mythology is too strange to discuss here, so we'll stick to rituals.

Inspecting the Rope

Okay, so this isn't really a ritual, but more of a safety check item. Each year the rope is "unveiled" at a pep rally and checked for wear by being rolled from one big spool to another. It's a serious job and somebody has to do it. Lubricating with a cold beer and incessant cheering helps get it done quickly. Oh, yes, the rope is also blessed and annointed with a few drops of brew.

The Designated Dunkee

While insurance regulations and common sense prevent anyone from being dragged into the water during a tug, there is nothing preventing "volunteers" from the losing side of each heat to "volunteer" to jump into the water as atonement for having lost. In fact, it's required. These people are called Designated Dunkees and every team must have one. Contestants are given points for style and technique in the water entry process.

We Like it This Way. Up the Republic!

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