The Craziest Sports-Related Rituals and Superstitions

We love our sports teams. Whether you’re supporting Baylor, USC, Iowa State, or any other college team, you probably have some way that you show your support for your team. Maybe you have your college team shirt and that’s enough for you. Or perhaps, you’re repping with your team’s logo on your back window or the back of your bike. Or some people even put up posters in their rooms to show their allegiance to their one and only team. These are perfectly understandable ways to show some team-love.

But this can get intense.

People can have some extremely bizarre ways of showing their support for their team. We’re not just talking about displaying your team’s flag from your front porch, or even hosting tailgate parties. There is a breed of extreme sports fans who are truly more like fanatics. But what sets these extreme fans apart from the average onlooker? Well, quite a bit. Some of these extreme fans will wear the same unwashed shirt for every game, believing that it will make their team win. Other people believe that they have to be holding a special item in a certain way to ensure a victory. But these superstitions are far new. Additionally, athletes have their own version of these bizarre rituals. In this blog, we’re going to discuss some of the most extreme sports-related superstitions we’ve ever heard of.

1. Michael Jordan’s UNC Shorts

This has probably turned to folklore by now, but the legend goes like this: Michael Jordan would wear his UNC light blue shorts underneath every single pair of his Bulls shorts. We can’t imagine that those shorts were anything but disgusting, but what can we say? He knew what worked for him.

2. Brian Urlacher’s Cookies

Legend has it that before every single game, All-Pro linebacker for the Chicago Bears, Brian Urlacher, would eat two chocolate chip cookies. We’re not quite sure why. Perhaps he started doing it and the Bears won, so he kept it up. Whatever the reason, those cookies never seemed to slow him down.

3. Ed Belfour’s Possessive Nature

It is reported that Ed Belfour, former Canadian hockey player, would not allow any of his teammates to touch his equipment before a game. If anyone were to touch it, he would tend to get quite aggressive and respond harshly.

4. Jerry Tarkanian’s Towel Chewing

Apparently, during famous NCAA coach Jerry Tarkanian’s time as a high school coach, he would tire of having to walk over to the water fountain. For this reason, he wet a towel down and would basically chew on it for the duration of the game. This small act eventually became a ritual he continued his towel-chewing as an award-winning NCAA coach.

5. Steve Kline’s Hat

There might be a lot of things that fail to get washed in between games, but what if a professional baseballer refused to wash his hat…ever? Well, that’s exactly what MLB pitcher, Steve Kline did. Kline reportedly never washed his hat in for any of the teams he played with.

6. Larry Walker’s Number Threes

When it comes to pro baseball, Larry Walker is pretty much a household name. But what is the reason for all of his success? According to him, it is due to the number three. Walker was so obsessed with the number three that he never played with a number other than thirty-three, requested a phone number with lots of threes in it, he always woke up at thirty-three minutes past the hour, and even got married on Nov. 3rd, at 3:33.

7. Jason Terry’s Team Shorts

We can understand the need to wear your team’s shorts at certain times or before a big game. But what about wearing the shorts of the opposing team? Famous basketball player, Jason Terry, who owns a pair of every NBA team’s shorts, wears the shorts of the opposing on the night before every game. Hey, whatever works.

8. Richie Ashburn’s Bats

During his playing days, Phillies outfielder, Richie Ashburn would take his bats home with him and actually sleep with them. Apparently, he wanted to ensure that no one would tamper with his precious bats. After his playing days, Ashburn went on to do a lot of sports commentating and would often joke about this old ritual.

9. Goran Ivanisevic’s Strange Habits

When Croatian tennis great, Goran Ivanisevic was at the height of his playing days, he had a few different rituals that he held fast to. These included his superstition of not stepping on any lines present on the court, not being the first to stand up from his chair during a change-up, and strangest of all, if Goran won a match, for the following game, he would repeat everything and mimic all of the events from the day he had won.

10. Les Miles Eats Grass

Yes, you read that right. Admittedly, before a game, and at times during high-pressure moments, Coach Les Miles will pick a small amount of turf and eat it. He says that it helps him feel one with the field. If this sounds strange to you, that’s probably because it is. But what can we say?  We love Les Miles.

Athletes, coaches, and fans alike all have ways to show our support and prepare for games. Whether you consider yourself moderate or extreme, we all have unique methods for showing our devotion to our team.

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