Everyone has that special thing that they do or think about when the going gets tough, but athletes take this to an entirely different level. Many will go to the ends of the earth if it means keeping a streak going or winning a game. While normally superstitions and pre-game rituals are fairly mild, like a pair of lucky socks or dancing to a favorite song, some athletes go above and beyond with some strange superstitions.
Anyone even slightly informed of the sports world knows the names Michael Jordan and Serena Williams, who are both arguably the best at their respective sports. What many people don’t know is just how superstitious they are. In fact, according to Men’s Fitness, Jordan is the reason NBA players began wearing longer shorts. He believed that his old alma mater – the University of North Carolina – game shorts brought him good luck so he wore a pair under his uniform pants every game. In order to cover them he began to wear longer game pants which in turn led to a league-wide trend.
If you think Jordan’s habits are a little excessive, then wait for Williams’. She not only brings her shower shoes down to the court with her before every match, but before every serve she must bounce the ball five times before the first and twice before the second.
Now while those are some crazy superstitions and rituals, Men’s Fitness also outed former MLB first baseman Jason Giambi’s wild superstition. During his time with Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Indians, Giambi would wear a golden thong whenever he fell into a slump.
As for Blackburn athletes, superstitions and rituals are less extreme, but there are still some unusual ones. Women’s basketball player freshman Abby Frerichs credited her softball team’s third place finish at nationals to the fact that if they “won in a certain uniform, we couldn’t change it, we just left it on, we couldn’t wash it, we played in it.” When she was in middle school she had a pair of lucky rainbow socks that had a pot of gold on the sides. She would also eat a 100 Grand and drink a purple sports drink before every single game because she thought “since the candy bar was 100 Grand, [she was] going to play like a 100 grand.” She has now moved on to peaches and toast before games.
Other athletes like to listen to certain music, dance around with teammates, pray together and even refuse to wash their uniforms. So remember: the next time your classroom smells like feet, it might just be gameday.