No Haka In Oregon, Bra

And now a story about a football team that begins every game with a 15-yard penalty ... and curiously, it's not the Raiders. The players from Jefferson High in Oregon perform the Haka Dance during pregame warmups every week, and are summarily penalized by officials for taunting. But instead of giving up the dance, Jefferson High players voted to continue taking the penalties.

The students support the football players and their decision to take a penalty rather than stop or change the dance after opponents complained that the performance amounted to bad sportsmanship. "We are defending our land," said Tongan player Leni Feaomoeata, 15. "Jefferson has the reputation for losing, being dismissed. We wanted to defend our school, to show we have heart."

The surprise here is that anyone still considers the Haka exotic; BYU does it, for Christ's sake. Apparently the only people who still find it intimidating are this school district and Kige Ramsey.

Fifteen Yards For Unsportsmanlike ... Culture [The Oregonian, via Fark.com]