• Myths & Legends

The Craziest Superstitions in Sports

Athletes seem powerful and mostly pretty cool, so when you start looking into sports superstitions and rituals, it's oddly vindicating to discover that big time athletes have as many quirks (if not more) than you do. It’s interesting to discover that despite their millions of dollars and pumped up muscles, athletes are just as bound to strange, and often surreal sports rituals in the service of doing well at their job. Depending on your own superstitious habits, this list of athlete rituals is either going to make complete sense to you, or make you wonder how all these weird superstitions and habits came to be so prevalent.

For as rough and tumble as they are, athletes are super weird. Who knew that they had just as many superstitions and traditions as the old ladies that haunt bingo halls, and wedding planners the world over? As odd as it is that some baseball players don’t wash their clothes during hot streaks, and that one MMA fighter drinks his own pee (yep!), it's really too bad that there isn't even one hockey player who needs a troll doll on the ice with him at all times. Perchance to dream, we suppose.

Vote up the weirdest and strangest sports superstitions, and if you have any weird things that you do before, during, or after a  big game, tell us about it in the comments!
  • 1
    194 VOTES

    Don't Touch Kevin Rhomberg

    Whenever you talk about athletes and their superstitions, you have to mention Rhomberg.

    Whenever someone touched him, Rhomberg had to touch them back. Because baseball players are secretly eight years old, they had tons of fun with this. They would tag Rhomberg and throw the ball out of the stadium, only to laugh as he spent hours finding it. Former major leaguer Rick Sutcliffe once touched his toe under a bathroom stall, and Rhomberg touched everyone in the clubhouse to make sure he got the culprit. 

    Players would touch him and take off into the clubhouse, and he would spend hours trying to find them and touch them back. If he didn't get you, you could expect a letter that said, "This constitutes a touch."

    Is this crazy?
  • 2
    51 VOTES

    Never Get Cleansed in Zimbabwe

    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

    In 2008, the Midland Portland Cement football team was struggling. So, the head coach ordered the entire 16 man team to be ritually cleansed. That meant a dunk in the Zambezi River. The problem is, swimming is prohibited in the river because of hippos and crocodiles. 16 men went into the river. 15 came out. Needless to say, the team lost its next match. 

    Is this crazy?
  • 3
    156 VOTES

    Jason Terry Sleeps in the Pants of His Enemies

    Photo: flickr / CC0

    Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks has been one of the most consistent scoring point guards in the NBA over the last few years. But that hasn't stopped him from using a bit of superstition to make sure he never loses his edge. 

    Every night before a game, Terry sleeps in the shorts of his opponent the next day. Somehow, the man has managed to acquire the actual shorts of every team in the NBA, and will sleep in them. When a team gets a new uniform? Terry gets new shorts. 

    Is this crazy?
  • 4
    110 VOTES

    Cubs Fans Hungry for an End to the Curse

    The Chicago Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908, and haven't even appeared in baseball's championship series since 1945. Why? The Curse of the Billy Goat. Fans of the team say their bad luck all started when Bill Sianis, the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, got kicked out of Game 4 of the 1945 World Series for bringing his smelly goat to the game. Sianis cursed the team and the rest is history.

    Until 2015? To try to break the curse, a group of fans decided they'd need to eat an entire 40-pound goat (including the eyes, brains, and... other less appealing parts). They even recruited professional competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi to help accomplish the task. How long it'll take for their goat feast to break the curse remains to be seen.

    Source: Washington Post

    Is this crazy?