Cultural Analysis of the IUP Tooters
Everyone, no matter the background is part of something bigger than themselves Every experience one has with a group of people defines the culture they are apart of. It could be a country, friends, family, a team, ect. Every group has its own culture and traditions. One such group that has its own culture is the IUP Tooters, the rugby team for IUP. An event that describes the culture of the Rugby team is Sugar Cup. Sugar cup is a celebration of the Alumni players and is the center event to pass down and teach new players the team traditions.
It was a hot and sunny day in April, and the men’s rugby team accompanied by the woman’s rugby team congregated at the sugar cup rugby field. In preparation for the Alumni, a pig began to be roasted above a large bonfire. The alumni arrived around noon dressed for game day in their cleats and jerseys. The field erupted in conversation as the players greeted their old friends. After the meet and greet the traditional game against the alumni starts. The competition was fierce but was friendly behind all the aggression. After the showdown ceased, the roast was ready to be feasted upon. Around 200 of current and former Rugby players lined up and devoured the pulled pork sandwiches made from the cooked pig. As the feast came to a close a familiar chant filled the air.
“Aye-oh Zulu Warrior!” Chanted by everyone. Excitement filled the air as the warriors lined up and took the symbolic lap around the rugby pitch as they were all announced by name. The run was the team’s way of honoring the players that have achieved their first tri, or score, and show how much the team appreciates the dedication of its players. After the Zulu run the newcomers were taught the IUP Tooters chant, the source of the teams Identity. The newcomers were separated into groups, each being taught by two seasoned veterans of the team. The chant is only to be passed down orally on the day of sugar cup each year, and is never to be written down. Teaching it any other time of year would be taboo. After completing the chant ceremony the new players were welcomed to the team and were officially named IUP Tooters. The celebration came to a close and the atmosphere became very surreal intense. The feeling of finally being officially welcomed to the team was a feeling that couldn’t be replaced.
The Sugar Cup game and traditions have always been the center of the IUP Tooters identity and culture as a team. It is an event that is exclusively done by the Tooters and has been passed down for decades. It symbolizes the aggression, loyalty, passion, and brother hood that the team is made up of. Sugar Cup shows the love and respect that the alumni deserve. There was two rules of brother hood the team made long ago were: “The IUP Tooters are family”, and “A Tooter once is a Tooter for life.” Those rules accompanied by the identity of being aggressive, intense, and unified players sums up the identity of the Tooters.