The Weirdest College Basketball Tradition You’ve Never Heard Of Returns

Taylor University’s Silent Night took place this weekend

Silent Night
Revelers at Silent Night at Taylor University.
Taylor University
By Tobias Carroll / December 8, 2019 1:38 pm

College sports have a plethora of strange mascots, bizarre traditions and memorable stunts. But few can rival Taylor University’s annual Silent Night for sheer carnivalesque glee — all taking place at a small university in Upland, Indiana. It’s a tradition that dates back to the late 1980s, according to the university’s website. Taylor students show up to the game in costume and sit in silence until the 10th point is scored. Then? To quote a certain talking fox, chaos reigns

At The Echo, Markus Miller describes the scene. “None of these oddly-attired college students make a sound. The game remains quiet, the fans hushed,” Miller writes. “Then, a bucket is made. The silence is broken. The whole gym descends into chaos as the previously silent students flood onto the court.”

This is Silent Night. It’s an unprecedented tradition with a penchant for going viral, and yet it’s remained resolutely charming. 

Silent Night began with students donning pajamas for the game; the tradition was refined in the years since then, including sitting in silence until the 10th point was scored and promptly storming the court. (Since 2012, Taylor has been charged a time out for the interruption, which seems only fair.) And whatever positive energy this imparts to the team must be effective: Taylor has won every Silent Night game except for one.

That winning streak continued this year, with the Taylor Trojans defeating Ohio Chillicothe 89-50. The 10th point was scored 2:23 into the game; over 2,500 were in attendance. For all present, it was a night to remember. 

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