Even if they don”t want to admit it, most people have superstitions. “Step on a crack, break your momma”s back” has forced people to avoid cracks for the rest of their lives for fear of their mother breaking her back. It seems outrageous, but do you step on cracks if you can avoid it?
When you have a career as luck-driven as professional sports, you just have to lean into all of the superstitious mumbo-jumbo. Sure, all of the pre- and post-game rituals may seem silly, but would you really want to be responsible for letting your team down?
I didn”t think so!
1. Les Miles has a habit of eating the turf of the field before the game and in high pressure situations. Miles claims that it helps him stay grounded and realize that he is just a small cog in a larger game. He wouldn”t admit anything otherwise, but he claims that the grass at LSU”s stadium tastes the best.
2. Dirty Steve Kline”s superstition became so famous and noticeable that it became a contest for fans to participate in. You see, Kline never washed his hat during the whole season. This would lead to crazy stains and dirty building up on his hat (not to mention the stench), which prompted fans to partake in the superstition, even having a “Steve Kline Hat Lookalike Contest.”
3. This guy looks like a monster. He even played for a team named The Bears. But what Brian Urlacher has in common with monsters is more akin to Seasame Street”s Cookie Monster. Before every game, Urlacher would eat two chocolate chip cookies. Never one, never three, always two. Talk about having a chip on your shoulder. Thanks, I”ll be here all week.
4. Wade Boggs earned the nickname “The Chicken Man,” but not because he is frightened easily. Before every game, Boggs would down a huge heaping helping of chicken. Before every game. There are 162 games in a baseball season. That”s a lot of chicken.
5. Mike Bibby has more of a nervous habit as opposed to a superstition. During every timeout, Bibby will cut his fingernails. He is so obsessed with keeping his nails are the right length and shape that his coaches even bring him nail clippers while the coach talks about whatever a coach talks about.
6. John Henderson needs a little extra anger before he goes out on the field. This means that Henderson has a trainer, coach, or fellow player slap him as hard as they can across the face right before he walks out on the field. Takes the edge off…or puts it on? Who knows? All I know is I don”t want to be tackled by him.
7. Richie Ashburn loved to sleep with old bats. (Pun intended!) Ashburn would literally keep his bats in bed with him so that no one would tamper with them or mix them up in any way.
8. Jason Terry has quite a few oddities. He wears 5 pairs of socks at once, eats chicken before games, and the night before a game, he will wear the opposing team”s shorts. He has become so obsessed with it that people have even began to loan him the shorts.
9. The Big Man Jason Giambi had an unusual quirk. Whenever he found himself mired in a hitting slump, he would break out his lucky gold thong. This man with a fu manchu mustache would wear a gold sparkly thong to help him break out of slump.
10. The Greatest. The Legend. The Natural. Yes, even Michael Jordan has his own superstition. Every game he played, he would wear his North Carolina Tarheel shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls shorts. In order to hide the UNC shorts, Jordan started wearing longer shorts which then made it fashionable for players to wear longer shorts.
11. Serena Williams is one of the winningest tennis player in history, so naturally she would have some superstitions. Williams has been known to wear the same pair of socks for a whole tournament. She also will bring her shower sandals to the court, tie her shoes in a very specific manner, bounce the ball five times before her first serve, and bounce the ball twice before her second serve.
12. Moises Alou has a quirk for the ages. He didn”t like the idea of wearing batting gloves while playing ball, so he refused to do it. However, he needed his hands to be tougher in order to bat. To toughen his hands, he would pee on them. … it didn”t really work.
These guys take the game so seriously, they border on insane. Their lucky habits are on a whole other level. It has to have worked for them at some point, otherwise they wouldn”t do it. (Right?)
Next time you avoid a crack, hold your breath while passing a cemetery or avoid walking under a ladder you won”t feel so silly.