The 2009 playoffs begin tonight for the Boston Red Sox as they visit the Los Angeles Angels in the American League Division Series. Everywhere around the country, Red Sox fans will be tuning in to root for their team. Many of these same fans will also be engaging in whatever superstition that they believe will help the Red Sox win.
Now I know that in the real world, superstitions are just that…superstitions. They are silly things that people do because they believe that it will bring them or their team luck.
However, in the sports world, superstitions are everything. Some players will wear the same hat the entire year because they think that it will bring them luck. When the late Mark Fidrych was pitching, he would get a new baseball anytime that he gave up a hit. Wade Boggs would have barbecue chicken before every game that he played. I know of football players that won’t change their socks for an entire season. There are basketball players that will go through the exact routine every time the shoot a free throw. Hockey players will grow playoff beards for luck. The list is endless.
These superstitious beliefs don’t just end with the athletes themselves. Fans all over the world have superstitions that they believe will help their team.
I am one of them. Back in 2004, the Boston Red Sox were down 3 games to 0 and were on the brink of elimination at the hands of the New York Yankees. During that game 4, I had 4 chicken strips with some “three cheese light done right” ranch dressing as a snack. The Red Sox came back late in the game to defeat the Yankees. So, the next night I had the same snack at the same time and got the same result. I couldn’t stop there, so I continued on to the next game. The Red Sox ended up winning the next 8 games to claim their first World Series Championship in 86 years!!
Some of my other superstitions are not as noticeable. For example, if I am watching a game and my team is playing well, I will not change the position that I am sitting in until their luck changes.
Needless to say, each year that the Red Sox are in the baseball playoffs, I come up with something to try and help the team win. This year I am trying burritos as my food of choice. I will also be wearing different Red Sox apparel in an effort to help the team. If the team does well, I will continue on with the same routine. If they don’t, then I will try something different.
That’s what I love about sports, anything can happen, both ON and OFF the field!