Before every soccer match, Brown Universitys women soccer team cheers Geevum Bruno!”. Before every home game, they do the cheer and also rub the head of the sterling silver bear statue.
Joyce Chun, a member of Brown Universitys women soccer team told me about her soccer teams pregame rituals through a video chatting session online. She says the phrase Geevum was on a ceramic container that a parent of player from Hawaii gave the Head Coach Phil in 1977, his first season. Geevum means Go for it. Since 1977, Geevum which transformed to Geevum Bruno! has been the cheer before every game. While traveling to Europe in 2007, the teams local guides told the team about a tradition that would bring a person good luck, such as rubbing a certain part of a statue. During the Europe trip, Coach Phil asked the players to find something that could be touched for good luck prior to games at Brown, just like they did in Europe. The players found a sterling silver bear statue and decided that the head should be rubbed before every game for good luck. The first time the bear was used as good luck, the team won 1-0, which began a new tradition adding to the Geevum Bruno! cheer. Joyce said she learned these pregame traditions from the older players before her first game.
The ceramic container with the phrase Geevum must have had some significance to the coach and/or the team at the time. I believe Geevum makes a good pregame cheer because it has a motivating and inspirational meaning. It is interesting that Brown Universitys women soccer team searched for something to make their tradition. They deliberately created a tradition. A bear seems appropriate because the mascot of Brown University is a bear. If the team did not win their first game, they would most likely abandoned the sterling silver bear statue as a good luck charm and would probably looked for a different tradition. The rubbing of the bears head before a game is an example of Frazers contagious magic because in order to get the luck, the team must touch the bear; therefore, the luck is physically transferred from the bear to the each player. The chanting of Geevum Bruno and rubbing the bears head are ways the team creates stability and reassurance before they enter game where everything is unpredictable.