The TD Garden has been treated to three Bruins hat tricks this season, and for those that have had the pleasure of witnessing a live hockey hat trick, they can agree that it's one of the greatest traditions in sports.
While it may not be the most interesting, it's certainly the most-shared, most classy and most sacred traditions in sports. Plenty of teams, schools and countries have their own traditions, but the throwing of hats onto the ice following a third tally by one player can be seen and respected by fans of any team, in any city across the world and at any level.
The origin of the hat trick is a bit hazy, as there are many different stories out there as to where the hat-tossing tradition began. Here are three popular variations.
Toronto, 1940s: Chicago Black Hawks forward Alex Kaleta was searching for a hat in Toronto in 1946 and approached local businessman, Sammy Taft. Kaleta didn't have enough money to purchase one so Taft made a deal: If Kaleta scored three goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs that night, he would give him a free hat. Sure enough, Kaleta scored four goals against the Leafs, and Taft gave him the headgear.
Guelph, Ontario, 1950s: The Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters of the Ontario Hockey Association (the farm team of the NHL's New York Rangers) were sponsored by Biltmore Hats — a local hat manufacturer. According to legend, the sponsor would give a brand-new fedora to any Mad Hatters player who scored three goals in a game.
Montreal, 1960s: The Henri Henri hat store in Montreal rewarded players with a free hat if they scored three goals or more in one game at the Montreal Forum.
But what are some other fun sports traditions? Forget rushing the court, tossing a pie in your teammate's face, ripping down goalposts, dousing the coach in sports drink or watching a sausage, hot dog, chorizo and bratwurst sprint around a baseball field — here are some of the most famous traditions in sports.
What is your favorite sports tradition? Share your thoughts below.
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