Sports is no stranger to peculiar practices, from mild superstitions to pre-game rituals that are downright weird. But hey, if it works, it works! We’ve gathered a few of our favorite of the most wonderfully unique superstitions in the sports world. Enjoy!
Les Miles’ pre-game snack
Dubbed “The Mad Hatter,” Les Miles is undoubtedly a man of eccentricity, but his most famous peculiarity is his penchant for eating a few blades of grass from the field right before (or during) a big game. According to the LSU head coach, the act “humbles” him and reminds him he’s part of the field and the game.
It’s raining Octopi in Detroit
One of the most recognizable traditions in professional hockey, the Detroit Red Wings’ “legend of the octopus” dates all the way back to the 1950s when a fan threw this 8-legged creature onto the ice, claiming each leg represented the numbers of wins needed to claim the Stanley Cup. The team went on to sweep the playoffs, making the octopus Detroit’s official good luck charm ever since.
NASCAR’S nutty superstition
Racing newbies might experience a bit of shell shock at the track, as peanuts in the shell are considered bad luck at NASCAR races. In fact, many drivers even forbid shelled peanuts in their pits, but allow the snack only after it has been removed from its outer layer. An especially odd superstition indeed, but nonetheless peanuts in the shell are widely accepted as a serious no-go among NASCAR enthusiasts.
Richie Ashburn’s bunk buddy
Like many baseball greats, Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn had his own quirks for keeping a winning streak alive. After a particularly good performance, he insisted on playing with the same bat during the next game, and went through great extremes to do so. The slugger took his lucky bats home, and would even make a spot in his bed for them.
Shh! The no-hitter silence
Perhaps one of the most important rules in baseball: when a pitcher is on the verge of perfection, you never talk about it. Legend says that even the faintest whisper of the words “no-hitter” will immediately jinx it. So while a pitcher is on his way to achieving a perfect game, everyone gives him a strong dose of the silent treatment.