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Homecoming: The Definitive Guide

Homecoming: The Definitive Guide

Are you puzzled by pep rallies? Skeptical about spirit week? Confused by continuous references to something called “Homecoming”? SparkNotes is here to help. For those who live outside the U.S., or in a town that scoffs at the whole concept of Homecoming, we’ve created this brief guide to explain how the festivities work—and how you, too, can institute a weeklong celebration of the athletic event of your choice. (We’ve used the traditional example of football here, but if you want to customize Homecoming for your school’s undefeated Table Tennis Champs, that’s cool too.) Are you ready to HOMECOME? Then you’d better…

Start Out with Spirit Week
If your school wants to take Homecoming seriously, the big game should be preceded by a weeklong celebration of all things athletic. Non-athletes should dress in school colors. Athletes should wear their jerseys every single day, preferably without washing them. In some schools, Spirit Week is also known as “Five Days of Screaming Pit-Stink.”

Make Some Banners
Scientific research shows that a team’s chances of winning are directly proportional to the number of banners hung during spirit week. Use large rolls of paper and some paint to make banners that say things like “GO!”, “FIGHT!” and “WIN!” You may also want to make some that say, “OOPS!” and “SORRY ABOUT YOUR FIBULA!” in the event of an on-field injury.

Have a Pep Rally
Your football team might not have won a game since 1971, but that doesn’t mean they can’t come crashing through a giant paper banner like conquering heroes while the rest of the students scream like a bunch of drunk sorority girls. In the event that your football team is too weak and puny to crash through the banner on their own, hire a midget dressed as a Spartan to tear his way through the banner with a dagger before the team comes out. (Note: If your school mascot is not a Spartan, this may cause some confusion.)

Elect a Homecoming King…
While sheer athletic ability is only one element of most high school popularity contests, the Homecoming King must, MUST, be a big frackin’ jock. Likely competitors are captains of the football, baseball, or soccer teams. The football team’s quarterback is generally favored to win, unless he is hideously ugly, in which case all bets are off.

…And a Homecoming Queen, Too
The wholesome, spirited cheerleader who was just a little too nice to be Prom Queen is a perfect candidate for crowning at Homecoming (when school spirit is more important than the ability to wear a sparkly tiara and a bitchy expression). Other Queen contenders include athletic superstars from the field hockey and soccer teams.

Host a Homecoming Dance
The night before the game, demonstrate your school spirit through the time-honored tradition of booty-shaking. Force the Homecoming King and Queen to dance with each other. If the King and Queen are already a couple, demand that they kiss “for good luck.” If the King and Queen are not already a couple, start a rumor that you saw them making out in the bathroom. You know, for good luck.

Then, Have a Parade
On the day of the Homecoming Game, the Homecoming King and Queen, cheerleaders, and football team should be brought to the field in style. And when we say “in style,” we mean “on the back of a balloon-and-hay-covered flatbed being pulled very slowly down the street by somebody’s spare tractor.” Cheerleaders should remain standing during the parade to avoid getting hay splinters in their butts.

And Finally: The Game!
You’ve got spirit. YES YOU DO. Throw on your school colors, paint your face blue, and make your way into the stands. Cheer wildly whenever your team kicks a field goal, scores a touchdown, advances down the field, or breaks an opposing team member’s fibula. If your team is winning, shout encouragement at every opportunity. If your team is losing, shout creative insults at the referee.

Did we miss anything? Leave your Homecoming how-tos in the comments!

Related post: How to Ask a Girl to Homecoming

Topics: Life
Tags: guides, football, homecoming, dances, parades

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Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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