On 5 July 1799, a Friday evening at 7 o'clock, a naked man was arrested at the Mansion House, London, and sent to the Poultry Compter. He confirmed that he had accepted a wager of 10 guineas (equal to £Template:Inflation today) to run naked from Cornhill to Cheapside.
The first recorded incident of streaking by a college student in the United States occurred in 1804 at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) when senior George William Crump was arrested for running nude through Lexington, Virginia, where the university is located. Robert E. Lee later sanctioned streaking as a rite of passage for young Washington and Lee gentlemen. Crump was suspended for the academic session, but later went on to become a U.S. Congressman and Ambassador to Chile.
Streaking seems to have been well-established on some college campuses by the mid-1960s.
Streaking is an essentially Anglo-Saxon phenomenon, absent in other cultures.
Time magazine, in December 1973, called streaking "a growing Los Angeles-area fad" that was "catching on among college students and other groups." A letter writer responded, "Let it be known that streakers have plagued the campus police at Notre Dame for the past decade", pointing out that a group of University of Notre Dame students sponsored a "Streakers' Olympics" in 1972.
Definitions and etymology
The word is recorded in its modern sense only since 1973. Before that, to streak in English since 1768 meant "to go quickly, to rush, to run at full speed", and was a re-spelling of streek: "to go quickly" (c.1380); this in turn was originally a northern Middle English variant of stretch (c. 1250).
The term "streaking" was popularized by a reporter for a local Washington, D.C. news station as he watched a "mass nude run" take place at the University of Maryland in 1973. That nude run had 533 participants. As the collected mass of nude students exited Bel Air dorm, the reporter, whose voice was broadcast live over the station via a pay phone connection exclaimed... "they are streaking past me right now. It's an incredible sight!" The next day it was out on the Associated Press wire as "streaking" and had nationwide coverage.
Streaking is distinct from naturism or nudism in that streakers usually intend to be noticed and may choose a place with a large audience for their act, regardless of the risk of arrest (sometimes even intending to be remanded into police custody), whereas naturists and nudists generally prefer to be left in peace. It is also distinct from "flashing", in that the intent is generally not to shock or traumatize a victim.
Streakers may streak only once or a few times, possibly as a result of a dare, or may streak so often it can be considered a hobby.
The most public form of streaking is running naked before huge crowds at sporting events. However, many streakers seek quieter venues, such as a neighborhood at night after most people have gone to bed. Some have even found it especially satisfying to streak on rural highways in the very early hours of the morning, when there are not many commuters on the road. A number of streakers do not intend to expose themselves to others, but find it thrilling to do it in places that often have people present, but do not at the time of their streak. Streaking may be an individual or a group activity. It is not uncommon for videos of some of the more daring streaks to find popularity on the internet.
Of note is that since its heyday in the 1970s, being caught streaking in the United States now carries with it the title of 'sex offender' upon conviction, since aggressive defense against such charges is not usually initiated.
In a game against the Melbourne Storm at Olympic Park in 2007, a Brisbane Broncos fan streaked across the field waving his supporter jersey over his head. He was apprehended at the other side of the field to large applause.
Another supporter attempted to streak at the 2007 grand final against Melbourne and Manly, but was stopped just before he made the playing field. He was not quite naked in that he was still wearing shorts that were partially pulled down, exposing his buttocks.
On 13 June 2009 there was a streaker that ran onto the ground at the end of a South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Melbourne Storm Match at Members Equity Stadium in Perth.
Twenty-five-year-old Australian Michael O'Brien was the first known streaker at a major sporting event when on April 20, 1974, he ran out naked onto the ground of an England vs. France Rugby Union match at Twickenham. He was captured by a police man, PC Bruce Perry, who covered his genitals with his police helmet. The photograph of O'Brien under arrest became one of the most reproduced photographs of a streaker. It has a Biblical quality, O'Brien, long-haired, bearded and naked in front of a jeering and cheering crowd is surrounded and supported by bobbies as he is arrested. The policeman's helmet is on display in the museum at Twickenham.
Erica Roe, a bookshop assistant, also streaked during a rugby union Test at Twickenham in 1982. Erica Roe was only topless, as she removed her shirt and bra but kept her trousers on. Erica Roe's streak is part of a common trend for female streakers to refrain from showing their genitals and only doing topless runs.
On October 3, 1999, Wallabies supporters Tamara Sheward and Wazza Metcalfe streaked the Australia vs. Romania World Cup match at Belfast's Ravenhill Stadium to much media attention.
In the 2007 Rugby Union world cup a naked male ran onto the pitch in the match between Japan and Fiji. He was shown full-frontal on the television broadcasts.
On 22 March 2009, a female streaker ran onto the pitch brandishing a green flag during the televised match between London Irish and Northampton Saints. It was in front of the season's largest crowd away from Twickenham, 21,000 fans bearing witness.
In the sport of cricket, it is not uncommon for a male streaker to run out to the field purely for shock and entertainment value or political purposes.
One example was in the First Test of the Australia versus the I.C.C. World XI, when a rather drunken man darted out toward the field naked, shocking the Australian and World XI players, halting play until he was spear tackled to the ground by field personnel after trying to evade their trap (this is the usual method to capture streakers at sporting events) and was apprehended.
In one notable incident in 1977, Australian test cricketer Greg Chappell spanked an invading streaker named Bruce McCauley with his cricket bat; McCauley then fell to the ground and was arrested by police.
Former cricket streaker Sheila Nicholls went on to have a successful career in the American music business. In 1989 Nicholls ran onto Lord's cricket ground fully nude and did a cartwheel to the crowd. She was photographed and filmed full frontal on live TV.
Streaking also occurred during the 2007 Boxing Day test match at the MCG between India and Australia. The Indian media incorrectly reported that local police wrapped the streaker with an Indian flag he was carrying as he charged onto the turf late in the day, risking $6,000 in fines. The flag in question was an Irish flag.
The most recent streaking incident was during the second one-day final between Australia and India at the Gabba. A 26-year old Brisbane man, Robert Ogilvy, invaded the pitch during the 10th over, only to receive a shoulder barge from Australian test cricketer Andrew Symonds, causing the streaker to drop instantly to the ground where he was apprehended by police. The streaker has since been fined $1,500, with Symonds receiving no charges.
Australian rules football
Streaking became popular at Australian rules football matches in the 1980s, particularly Victorian Football League Grand Finals, with a trend started by Adelaide stripper Helen D'Amico in the 1982 VFL Grand Final between Carlton and Richmond, wearing only a Carlton scarf.
The incident is famous for showing Helen D'Amico full frontal on the TV broadcast.
There were also incidents in 2004 at Launceston (St. Kilda v Port Adelaide) where a naked male streaker was tackled, while another male streaker who evaded security in 2007 at Darwin (Western Bulldogs v Fremantle) turned himself in to police the next morning. A naked male streaker recently evaded security in the Western Bulldogs v Port Adelaide match in Darwin, prompting an AFL review of security at the ground.
Another incident occurred in 2007 when two women streaked onto the Gabba pitch at a match between Brisbane and eventual premiers Geelong. The women kept their underwear on, and did not reveal any of their private parts. The women were caught by security and fined.
In 2005, German football club FC Hansa Rostock successfully sued three streakers who disrupted their 2003 match against Hertha Berlin, to recoup the €20,000 they were fined by the German Football Association for failing to maintain adequate security at their ground.
During a 2007 exhibition match between Wellington Phoenix and Los Angeles Galaxy, a female streaker took to the pitch trying to unofficially promote a business run by New Zealand sporting personality Marc Ellis. Although Ellis is well known for his promotion of streaking and reimbursement for those fined while doing so, he refused to pay the cost of the fine.
The female streaker did not expose herself fully, as she was wearing a G-string during her streak. In order to pay, the streaker unsuccessfully attempted to sell the item of underwear she wore at the time on online auction site TradeMe.
In the 2006 Winter Olympics, streaker Mark Roberts interrupted the men's bronze medal curling match between the U.S. team and the UK team, wearing nothing but a strategically placed rubber chicken. He was intending to advertise a well known gambling website, which was written across his back and breast, but in the United States, cameras cut away before viewers could see him. A Polish female streaker showed up at the closing ceremony, but was not on the telecast either.
For the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, officials warned visitors against streaking, amongst other forms of "bad behaviour". These fears centered around opposition and protest the PRC's conduct in Tibet.
In an episode of SmackDown! in 2003, Sean O'Haire convinced Brian Kendrick that he would get attention for himself if he streaked through the arena. He made the run, wearing only a long knitted scarf. He was also wearing underwear so this was indeed under kayfabe.
At WrestleMania 23 a streaker climbed over the fan barricade and climbed on the ring apron right at the start of the main event match between John Cena and Shawn Michaels. The fan was promptly removed by security while Michaels sat on the turnbuckle and mockingly waved goodbye to the streaker.
The 1996 Wimbledon's Men's singles final between MaliVai Washington and Richard Krajicek was interrupted by a female streaker just before the toss. Melissa Johnson, a 23 year old student, thereby became Wimbledon's first streaker. She ran onto the ground with an apron on, which she lifted to reveal her vulva to the players and crowd.
In 2006 a quarter-final match between Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon was interrupted by a male streaker, who was escorted off court by police. He was later identified as Dutch radio DJ Sander Lantinga, who was streaking for a TV show called Try Before You Die.
Despite the particularly close up nature of snooker, there have been a number of streakers in snooker tournaments. The first was Lianne Crofts in the final of the 1997 Benson & Hedges Masters between Steve Davis and Ronnie O'Sullivan. Since then there have been two streakers at the World Snooker Championship. The first was Andrew Slater, who appeared in a Sven-Göran Eriksson mask and socks during a match between Paul Hunter and Quinten Hann in 2002. Then, during the final in 2004 between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Graeme Dott, Mark Roberts ran down the stairs and tried to claim asylum under the table. During the 2008 final between Ali Carter and Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Roberts ran again across and under the table just before the start of the second evening's session.
In Super Bowl XXXVIII, streaker Mark Roberts disrupted the game by running on to the field. He was eventually leveled by New England Patriots Linebacker Matt Chatham, and was subsequently apprehended. Despite the worldwide audience, this event was largely unnoticed due to that game's infamous halftime show in which Janet Jackson's nude breast was revealed due to what was called a "wardrobe malfunction". Mark would return in 2007 during the first NFL regular season game held in England between the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, streaking during the game at Wembley Stadium.
During the 2007 PBO Championships Badminton, Pieter Van Landeghem disrupted the tournament by running naked on the court.
In 2000, female streaker Jacqui Salmond streaked fully nude onto the British Open in St Andrews. And in the 1970s, at the height of streaking's popularity, a young man who broke into the Augusta National golf course in Augusta, Georgia (albeit not while the Masters was in play) was actually shot with buckshot and slightly wounded.
In popular culture
Anonymously-posted fliers proclaiming "Go Naked Week May 1–7" began appearing on University of Delaware campus bulletin boards in March, 1970. Events included the student newspaper's [The Review] front-page photograph of a nude couple strolling hand in hand on the Mall, naked pyramid competitions between fraternities, and other, less documented, occurrences. As this was the week of the Kent State shootings, the University was temporarily shut down by its president, Edward Arthur Trabant, under the twin pressures of fully clothed anti-war demonstrators and naked heaps of the apolitical in front of Memorial Hall. Nevertheless, this led to a proposal in the Delaware State Senate to "shut down University funding due to the naked hippies protesting the war." The bill did not pass.
The high point of streaking's pop culture significance was in 1974, when thousands of streaks took place around the world. A wide range of novelty products were produced to cash in on the fad, from buttons and patches to a wristwatch featuring a streaking Richard Nixon to pink underwear that said "Too shy to streak." The prominence of streaking in 1974 has been linked both to the sexual revolution and a conservative backlash against feminism and the campus protests of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Perhaps the most widely-seen streaker in history was 34-year-old Robert Opel, who streaked across the stage flashing the peace sign on national US television at the 46th Academy Awards in 1974. Appearing to recover quickly, the bemused host David Niven quipped, "Isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?" Later, some evidence arose suggesting that Opel's appearance was facilitated as a stunt by the show's producer Jack Haley, Jr. Robert Metzler, the show's business manager, believed that the incident had been planned in some way; during the dress rehearsal Niven had asked Metzler's wife to borrow a pen so he could write down the famous line, which was thus not the ad-lib it appeared to be. Niven's brush with the streaker was voted the top Oscars moment by film fans in 2001. Ironically, Opel's run across the stage occurred with Niven mostly between him and the camera, so nothing below the waist was visible to the TV audience. The first one or two frames of Opel's appearance do provide a blurred view of Opel's genitalia, but since they appeared at the very edges of the image they were probably never seen by viewers due to the overscan common in TV sets at the time.
Ray Stevens wrote and performed "The Streak", a novelty hit about the guy who's "always making the news wearing just his tennis shoes". The song went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1974. Randy Newman also performed and wrote a song about streaking, "The Naked Man", which appears on his album Good Old Boys.
At the peak of the fad, even the comic strip Peanuts got into the act, with Snoopy as the participant. Snoopy, being a beagle, is fur-bearing and the only clothing he actually shed before streaking were his dog collar and his "Joe Cool" sunglasses.
Three's Company had an episode in which Larry (Richard Kline) streaked at a party in Jack's apartment. In another episode, Janet, Chrissy, and Mrs. Roper participated in a group nudity protest against a public beach's dress code. At risk of arrest and unable to retrieve their clothes in time, they were forced to streak a considerable distance back to the apartment.
In a 1993 NBC Special The 70s: The Beat Is Back, actor/comedian Martin Mull was on stage talking about his personal contributions to the 70s when a male streaker (in a possible pre-planned stunt similar to the '74 Oscars) ran through the audience, and then ran up on stage and shook Mull's hand before taking off. After cheers and catcalls from the audience, a visibly embarrassed Mull mused "I can't place the face!"
The band Blink-182, in their 1999 music video for "What's My Age Again?", ran across the pavement with their pubic region and buttocks digitally blurred out. In response to the resurgence of streaking starting in the 1990s, Blink-182 performance artist John Hassel (popularly known as "Bunboy") and others argue that streaking should be considered an art form in and of itself.
In The Sims 2: University expansion pack, streakers are added, a college sim can going streaking or a random NPC sim can show up on any lot at anytime.
In 2003, streaking came to the forefront in New Zealand when television presenter Mark Ellis offered a monetary reward for anyone who streaked in front of Prime Minister Helen Clark. This was part of Ellis' National Nude Day. A TV program he presented, Hyundai Sports Cafe, regularly promoted nudity and asked for people to send in nude exploits, including a The Lord of the Rings parody by nude actors, and 30 naked ballet dancers (both male and female) performing in front of the University of Otago main building.
In 2007 an ironic viral video for an Australian clothing company entitled 'Streakers love story' featured two streakers who fell in love on opposite sides of the world and met for the first time by streaking into each other's arms at a soccer match.
In an episode of Jimmy Neutron, Jimmy is sent off to college and streaks to gain acceptance into a false club created by a jealous classmate.
During the second episode of the 2001 animated comedy Undergrads, the main character Nitz grapples with the tradition of the "Exposed Expo" at his college, State U. After the first snowfall at his college, it is tradition for the freshmen to run around the campus in the nude.
In an episodeTemplate:Which? of Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, Mac streaks through town after he consumes a considerable amount of sugar to affect his 'condition'.
In an episode (2.22) of The Chasers War on Everything the chaser boys "streak" at a nudist colony by running around with clothes on to disrupt their activities.
In an episode (5.20) of House, it is noted that Kutner streaked at a Penn-Dartmouth football game.
In the video game Saint's Row 2. The player can choose to streak or during game play, random NPC streak as well.
At the graduation commencement of the Class of 1974 of the now defunct Richfield High School (Waco, Texas), a man streaked across the stage and made a clean getaway just before the last student received her diploma. He received a standing ovation.
The current record for the largest group streak was established at the University of Georgia, with 1,543 simultaneous streakers on March 7, 1974. The University of Colorado comes in second with 1,200 streakers, and the University of Maryland ranks third, with 553 naked students streaking three miles in March 1974. Erskine College claimed the highest per-capita streak, when 25% of its 600 students participated in a streaking party in 1974.
- Clothing-optional bike ride
- Nudity in sport
- Public nudity
- Indecent exposure
- Nude swimming
- Naked Quad Run
- First Rain
- ↑ The Times, 8 July 1799, "Official Appointments and Notices"
- ↑ The Carletonian, Carleton College, January 26, 1967, "Crash Syndrome", by John Mollenkopf, who stated,
- Examples of that problem [Carleton's social problem] are the large number of departing female students, the rise of class spirit, low grades, streaking, destruction, drinking, and the popularity of rock dances.
- ↑ "Takeoff", Time, December 10, 1973.
- ↑ "Letters", Time, December 31, 1973.
- ↑ Template:OED
- ↑ Newsweek Mar 13, 1974, p. 42 col 1. Also, "Fifty years among the new words: a dictionary of neologisms", p 173
- ↑ YouTube - Melbourne Storm Streaker 2007
- ↑ Costello, Tim (2007-09-30). "Grand Final 2007 - MELBOURNE - 2007 PREMIERS v Manly Warringah - Page 36 - The Front Row Forum :: Rugby League". Forums.leagueunlimited.com. http://forums.leagueunlimited.com/showthread.php?t=183556&page=36. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- ↑ "Unsupported browser detected". Getty Images. http://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/88468699/Getty-Images-Sport?language=en-US&location=AUS. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- ↑ "Ian Bradshaw - Photo - Streaker". Stevesportfolio.co.uk. http://www.stevesportfolio.co.uk/work/bpe/ian_bradshaw_photo2.html. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- ↑ The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4130246,00.html.
- ↑ [dead link]
- ↑ "Streakers and Streaking". BBC. 2006-04-05. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A9559678. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
- ↑ Cricinfo - Symonds shoulder charges streaker
- ↑ http://www.mumbaimirror.com/net/mmpaper.aspx?Page=article§id=59&contentid=200712272007122703333478cf3db11f
- ↑ "beefvindaloo.com". beefvindaloo.com. http://beefvindaloo.com/2007/12/28/aussie-streaker-causes%20-indian-row/#comments. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- ↑ "Symonds halts streaker but not losing streak". London: Telegraph.co.uk. 2008-03-05. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2008/03/04/ucstreak204.xml. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
- ↑ [dead link]
- ↑ "Grand Final 1988 : Demonwiki - A history of the Melbourne Football Club". Wiki.fcmelbourne.com.au. http://wiki.fcmelbourne.com.au/Grand%20Final%201988. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- ↑ Beckham streaker angers Marc Ellis - 23 December 2007 - The latest Wellington News, Sport and Weather from NZ Herald
- ↑ Beijing Olympics: Nudity and swearing banned, The Telegraph, 15/07/2008
- ↑ WWE Thursday Night Smackdown!. A Television Production.
- ↑ Benton, Dan (2007-10-29). "Streaker Mark Roberts Strikes Again; Struts His Stuff at Giants/Dolphins Game in London". Fanhouse. http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/10/29/streaker-mark-roberts-strikes-again-struts-his-stuff-at-giants/. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
- ↑ "Golfers on high streaker alert". BBC News. 2000-07-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/842900.stm. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- ↑ Bill Kirkpatrick. "'It Beats Rocks and Tear Gas': Streaking and Cultural Politics in the Post-Vietnam Era." http://www.billkirkpatrick.net/scholarship/streaking/
- ↑ David Allyn, Make Love, Not War: The Sexual Revolution; Bill Kirkpatrick. "'It Beats Rocks and Tear Gas': Streaking and Cultural Politics in the Post-Vietnam Era." http://www.billkirkpatrick.net/scholarship/streaking/
- ↑ Steve Harvey (March 29, 1993). "What You Won't See at Oscars On Cue: Behind Those Cameras on Oscar Night". Los Angeles Times: p. F1.
- ↑ "Streakers Love Story YouTube video" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtmdGMPgU7I
- ↑ "The Way We Was". Snpp.com. http://www.snpp.com/episodes/7F12.html. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- ↑ Pearson, Andy (2004-03-05). "1974: Univ. 'cracks' streaking record". The Red and Black. http://media.www.redandblack.com/media/storage/paper871/news/2004/03/05/News/1974-Univ.cracks.Streaking.Record-2576112.shtml. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
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