Superstition in Sports

Superstitions are common in sports. Athletes have them and fans have them too. Players won't wash their gear (dont want to wash off the mojo, vibe, the lucky), or won't shave or cut their hair while on a winning streak. Some get dressed in the exact same manner before each game.

Terry Bradshaw, legendary Steelers quarterback and Fox Sports analyst, recently interviewed NFL Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford and asked if he was superstitious. Very Sam admitted. He went on to say that some of his superstitions we're hard to keep up during the season and, by his own admission, some seem a little ridiculous. Bradford said he didn't know what to do when his collegiate season Thursday night ritual eating with the same teammate, at the same restaurant, with the same waitress was disrupted when a different waiter delivered the check one week with no peppermints. Not the usual lucky three peppermints he had been getting every week. His teammate had the waiter comeback with the three peppermints and Sams iced tea to go. They had to keep up the same routine, it was part of the ritual.

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As lifelong college sports fans, my family, friends and I have developed our own superstitions and rituals. I have some great tops I've only worn once because my team lost while I was wearing it. Even now when I come across those shirts, I still pass them up fearing a jinx on my boys. Watching games with a group of friends, we had specific seats and celebrated each touchdown with a series of high fives. If the chain was broken, we always go back and make sure that the process gets completed.

One of the most challenging superstitions is whether or not you should plan for your team's championship and post season bowl trip. With the roller coaster ride of college football it's a constant battle between wanting to plan and not wanting to jinx your team. You can't even have conversations about what bowl game it would be nice to go to! And if, god forbid, you MUST be in hushed tones with few witnesses around. But as a woman, I'm a planner and organizer, the one who makes things happen. In a subconscious effort to curb my holiday stress, I woke up at 3am the other night with the football season schedule running through my head. I know that we're just at the mid-season mark, but I thought, How will I plan my familys trip to the conference title game? Just having these thoughts is a nightmare in itself!

Seasoned fans know all too well that nothing is certain until the whistle blows on the final play of the last game of the regular season. But, with the holidays just around the corner and having experienced hours of frustration in the past trying to secure last minute airline tickets and hotel reservations to get to the big game with just 6 days notice, I allowed myself to think it through.

But if I told someone and our team lost in that last game, the accusation of jinxing our team and being over confident would have washed over the faces of family and friends alike. You can't assume anything. Its playing with fire and you run the risk of enacting the oldest superstition in the booksmake plans/ reservations and your team will lose! OK, I may have checked the airfares and maybe a hotel or two. I may have laid out my strategy for the upcoming weeks. I'm a woman after all, planning and anticipating next steps is what we do. But as a fan I know it doesn't really matter if I've made plans for a certain weekend in December. But just in case, I'm going to cancel them anyway.

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Posted in Transportation/Automotive Post Date 01/15/2021






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