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'Silent Night' Nearly a Holy Night

Timothy P. Reithmiller

One night every December, students at tiny Taylor University pack the school's gymnasium and participate in a phenomenon that's completely out of place in modern sports: silence.

The fans in the standing-room-only crowd are as loud as a library for as long as it takes Taylor's basketball team to score 10 points. But once that happens, there's no shushing them. As soon as Taylor hits double digits, the students erupt into bedlam, and they don't stop screaming and dancing until it's time for the post-game Christmas party on campus.

Friday's racket known as "Silent Night"—the game ends with a student singalong of the Christmas carol—is very, very quietly a tradition unlike any...

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