As the summer solstice fast approaches, I’m reminded that this is a time to be outside. It’s a time to play. It’s a time for sports. Athletes—both professional and amateur alike—are some of the most superstitious people on the planet.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan used to wear his University of North Carolina shorts under his uniform for every game. He did this because he wore them in the 1982 NCAA Championships and he felt they were lucky. Swedish tennis superstar Björn Borg used to grow a beard and wear the same Fila shirt for each of his Wimbledon appearances. His beard must have been lucky because he won five straight titles there. The “lucky beard” has made its way into other professional sports as well. Some athletes refuse to shave until the season is over. NHL Hockey goaltending great Patrick Roy used to skate backward toward the net before spinning around only at the last second because he believed it made the goal shrink. He would also thank the goal posts whenever a puck was deflected off of them instead of going in the net. Baseball legend Wade Boggs may take the title for most superstitious athlete: he had to eat chicken before every game, he took batting practice at 5:17, ran sprints at 7:17, and he’d draw the Hebrew word “Chai” (which means “Life”) in the dirt before he’d step up to bat.
Even fans have their own superstitions. I know someone who must wear the same socks each time his favorite team takes the field because he feels it helps them win. And here’s the truth about his stinky socks: Sometimes… when he wears them while his team is playing… they win. Boom! Direct correlation.
We know players are superstitious, sure. And even the fans. But there’s also a spirit to these stadiums and arenas. Some athletes die during the game. Some fans die from accidents or heart attacks. Think of all of the human energy—the highs and lows—that gets poured into these locations. It’s no wonder some of these place are reported to be haunted.
There are athletes who play at all of the major stadiums around a country. We expect them to perform well in their home stadiums, but sometimes they consistently perform well at certain away venues. And sometimes they can never seem to catch a break at others. Why? Maybe there’s something to these superstitions and the spirit of the place that is our hallowed sports arenas.
This month we’re going to explore the haunts in and around sports. Jump into the discussion here.
Mayor of Ghostvillage.com