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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Superstitions and rituals in sports

I scratched my head, turned on and off my laptop three times, rubbed my cats fur the wrong way and took 4 sips of coffee before typing this and cutting and pasting this post together...

Judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison wears the lucky socks that were a gift from her grandmother. Hockey player Alex Danson spins her stick 15 times before each game.

Tennis player Rafael Nadal takes alternating sips from two water bottles at every break between games.

The Olympic games are filled with superstitions and rituals followed by the best athletes in the world.

Baseball players and managers are some of the most superstitious athletes in all of sports. If a player or a team gets on a hot streak, then baseball players are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that it continues.

Some players had routines that they needed to follow before every single game or every start or else they just would not feel right.

The superstitions followed by some MLB players are certainly things that many people would consider to be weird. However, no one is going to say anything if it helps a hitter keep his hitting streak alive.

 If you’re any kind of fan, you know about the superstitions that have been around forever:
1.    Pitchers usually don’t shave on game day.

2.    Players won’t step on foul lines when taking or coming off the field.

3.    If a player has a great day at the plate, he’ll keep using that bat until he cools off.

4.    No one talks to the pitcher once he gets close to a no-hitter.

5.    Joe DiMaggio (and there are plenty of others) always stepped on second base on his way in from centerfield.

But those are mild compared to what a lot of players have done and are still doing.
 An outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays said, “If one little thing doesn’t go right, it can throw you off.
If you don’t complete your superstition, it can throw you off and make you look like you’ve never played the game before.”
 This all sounds crazy, but it’s easy to understand how it happens. Imagine if you went to Las Vegas and had a fantastic day at the blackjack table.
What are the chances that the next time you gambled you would go to the same casino and sit in the same chair at the same table?
 When it comes to the world of sports, baseball is the most superstitious game there is.
 The Major Leagues stretch back almost 150 years, and in that time you’ve seen a collection of superstitions that extend to every facet of the game.
 Fans blame curses for championship droughts.
 Players make sure to step over (or on) the foul line every time they take the field.
Some of the greatest players to ever play have stuck to the same traditions throughout their entire careers.
When guys are going, good they stick with a routine to maintain those vibes.
When guys are going bad, they switch it up to break the hex.
Basically, any superstition can be justified at any time.
That’s the beauty of insanity...

Turns out that all of this makes perfectly good sense.

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