Thursday, May 22, 2008

Superstitions in Sports

Whether you believe in superstitions or not, it is near impossible to not see them in the sporting world. Maybe it is how someone wraps the tape on their bat, or the shirt they wear under their shoulder pads, but every sport – and seemingly every player – seems to have some sort of superstition.

While fishing last week with my Dad and Grandfather, I learned that they each have their ways of trying to coax “the bite”. My Grandfather believes in the power of a cigar. My Father washed his hands before getting on board.

This is where I started feeling the “thought juice” flow. I thought about my own; including taking the first pitch, drinking from the same coffee cup on game day and other things like these.

Then I hear about Jason Giambi's way of getting out of a hitting slump (if you haven’t heard about it…think of gold lame and a very small amount of material) and the deal was sealed.

Of course there are “curses” but these are a small compilation of individual superstitions.

Here are some others I have found.

By Player:
- Michael Jordan always wore his blue North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform.
- Nomar Garciaparra gets dressed the same way every day.
- Wade Boggs would eat only chicken the day of a game.
- Roger Clemens always touched the head of the Babe Ruth statue before pitching in Yankee Stadium.
- Turk Wendell use to brush his teeth and chew licorice between every inning.
- Tiger Woods wears a red shirt on Sundays.
- Patrick Roy (Hockey) would talk to his goalposts during the game: "They're my friends." He never stepped on the red or blue lines. Before a game, he would skate out to the blue line and stare at the net, visualizing it shrinking.
- Goran Invanisevic (Tennis) always rises from his chair after his opponent and never steps on the lines of the court.
- If Red Sox pitcher Brendan Donnelly has a bad outing, he tosses his undershirt in the trash. "It's never my fault," he told The Boston Globe. "It's the stupid shirt."
- Mark McGwire wore the same protective cup from high school.
- Mike "The Human Rain Delay" Hargrove would walk up the first-base line and take three practice swings before stepping into the batter's box. He would then adjust his batting gloves, pants, sleeves, wipe perspiration off his lips and push down on the top of his batting helmet before he was ready to step in. He would do this again after every pitch.

A few by Sport:


Baseball
- It is not okay to talk to a pitcher when he is in the midst of a “no-hitter”.
- No stepping on the foul line when taking the field.
- "Statting" a player by mentioning his excellent statistics in this situation is seen to jinx that player.
- Not shaving after the first postseason win

Basketball
- Wipe the soles of your sneakers for good luck.

Football
- It's bad luck for a professional football player to take a new number when he is traded to another team.
- It's good luck for a player to have a double number


What sort of other Sports Superstitions do you know of?

Credit to: Sports Superstitions, Wikipedia, Psychology of Sports, Sidebits, ESPN Page 2

1 comment:

tyler said...

my lacrosse team: before every game we put all of pur gear on. then after that take our left elbow pad off and put it back on