Sports’ Intro Instructions

At this past Saturday’s Preakness in Baltimore, Ravens newly signed Odell Beckham Jr. had the honor of instructing the jockeys with the traditional “Riders up!” (For related video (click here.)

It got me thinking about other sports-related traditions or instructions at the start of the event. Here are a couple of examples that came to mind:

“Gentlemen, start your engines.” This was the traditional race car instruction that had to be altered when women began competing in motorsports. Today the preferred instruction seems to be “Drivers, start your engines” although there appears to be some discussion about going back to “Gentlemen…..” (Click here.)

Note that this year’s Daytona 500 featured 9 racing legends as their Grand Marshalls and they all said “Drivers, start your engines” at the 2:20 mark in the following:

“Play ball” is baseball’s official way to start it’s game when the home plate umpire says these words. Interestingly enough however, the official baseball rules which are titled “Play Ball” state that simply saying “Play” gets things going. It doesn’t sound right though does it? Hence “Play ball.”

“On Your Mark, Get Set, Go.” To start foot races and swimming heats, competitors are told some variation of “Ready, Set, Go” (click here.) “Take your mark” was also used to instruct them to get in position. These instructions were usually followed with a starter gun shot or a whistle to begin the race.

“Serve yourself.” At Buzzy’s Country Store the starter instructions are unnecessary for my everyday friends who know the drill. However, whenever a tourist or someone who hasn’t been in previously hits the counter and asks for a beer they are told “Serve yourself.” Good instructions and you only have to tell them once.

Here is one of a handful of Dead tunes sung by their keyboardist Brent Mydland pictured below. Am I the only one who thinks that he should have been their lead singer all along? (After listening to this video, check him out on another video performing Blow Away (click here.))

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