Superstitions are laced into sporting culture. From the mild to the extreme to the outright weird, fans, players and coaches alike have systems in place to give them a boost of luck on the big day. While there are many unique rituals, such as Michael Jordan wearing his UNC shorts under his uniform, many superstitions run across the spectrum and often manifest in uncanny yet interesting behavior. Here are a few of our favorite sports superstitions.
Up to Bat
Baseball players tend to have a particular fixation on their bats. From buffing their bat with a lucky charm to sleeping with it at night, many players have a firm method that there’s just no breaking.
Silence on the Field
We’re taught not to mess with perfection, and in sports, that proverb is no truer than when a pitcher is striving toward a no-hitter or a goalie is on his way to a shutout. During the process, no other teammate speaks or even looks at his fellow teammate working toward perfection.
The Bearded Men
What was once a hockey tradition has migrated over to other sports. The superstition maintains that once a team has made it to the playoffs, every teammate must withhold from shaving.
The Number Game
Hotels aren’t the only institution to avoid the superstitious significance of the unlucky 13; athletes also shun the historically cursed number. They also try to avoid changing their number at all costs, and double numbers are said to bring good fortune.
Don’t Change a Thing
Probably one of the most widely known of all sports superstitions, many players have a don’t-change-a-thing mentality when riding a winning streak. That means no changing socks, shorts, hair cut/style, and in some extreme cases, even avoiding showering. They are determined to keep everything as-is while the wins continue to ensue.