any annual event, the Tug of War has developed its own mythology
mythology is too strange to discuss here, so we'll stick to rituals.
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.
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.