With the internet now everyone knows about everything, especially if you are interested in sports, so there's a very real possibility that very few people are seeing this for the first time (aside from maybe Klemmer who still has a rotary phone and a palm pilot). Nonetheless, every time this tradition pops up over the years I enjoy it.
If you are unfamiliar, Taylor University in Upland,Indiana is an NAIA school that no one would care about on most nights of the sports calendar but the fascinating thing is for one night they dominate the storylines.
Here's a breakdown of the tradition which is super clever and super original and has no been replicated by different schools across the country but nothing ever comes close to the original.
Silent Night is one of Taylor University’s most beloved Christmas traditions, where students attend a sold-out basketball game wearing costumes and remain silent until the 10th point is scored. It’s Christmas cheer, creativity, and end-of-the-semester relief all rolled into an epic game of basketball in the Odle Arena. And it just keeps getting better!
- 10th-point celebration started in 1997, with students attending game in pajamas dating back to the late 1980's
- Taylor is 24-1 all-time in Silent Night games
- The 2020 Silent Night game was cancelled due to Covid-19
- Taylor fans remain silent until the 10th point is scored
- No technical foul is given for the 10th-point celebration, as a media timeout is issued immediately after Taylor scores its 10th point
- Sold out crowds with limited advanced ticket sales
- Students sing Silent Night in unison to end the game
- Always played the Friday before finals week
- After the game students attend a university-sponsored Christmas party
- Taylor University is an interdenominational liberal arts university of evangelical faith located in Upland, Indiana that competes in the NAIA as a member of the Crossroads League
It's just exactly what college basketball should be and everything that's great about college athletics. Wacky traditions, students being invested in the game, students actually engaged in the game, players being jazzed up for a massive home game, the opposing team trying to come in and ruin the party. It's everything I want to watch, and everything I care about in college sports and all the reasons I say why it's so much fun to watch. I stand behind this, the kids at this game were more invested than a 3/4 filled NBA arena for the Thunder vs Magic . And if you can't appreciate how wild these college environments get I guess you'll never really appreciate the great sport of college basketball.