The Wonderful World of Sports: Why So Superstitous?

Okay so fun fact about me, I grew up on the ice. My dad put me on skates probably before I even took my first steps. I grew up playing and loving hockey, so much so that my first job out of college was actually with the St. Louis Blues.

Unless you live under a rock, you know that playoff hockey is going on right now. Hockey players are some of the most superstitious guys and gals you’ll ever come across. I mean they do some downright strange things if they think it will help them win a game. Believe me, I am not exempt from this category.

When I was playing hockey I always, ALWAYS got dressed from right to left. Right shin guard, left shin guard, right sock, left sock, pants, right skate, left skate…okay, you get it. If I accidentally put the left of anything on before the right I would take it off and start again. It sounds silly when I type it out like this but I swear it works.

Plenty of NHLers have superstitions of their own. Corey Perry, for example, has an 8 step ritual he follows before each game. Look at Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He wears #87 because of his birthday, 8/7/1987. In the locker room, he keeps his stick next to his stall instead of leaving it in the stick rack the rest of the team uses. At the 5 minute mark of every pre-game warm up, he goes to center ice and reties his skates, right foot first. He wears the same hat during interviews after every practice and game the entire season. These are things he does religiously, all season long, every season.

I’ve been retired from the game for about 6 years now but as a fan I still carry some superstitions with me. Last night the Blues knocked the Hawks out of the first round in a wild game 7 match up at Scottrade Center. I’ll be honest, game 7 is the only game I watched. I missed the first game of the series and they played well so I decided not to watch the second and again they did well. So I decided as long as they were playing well I wouldn’t be watching. And it worked…until game 6. When I went to bed on Saturday night the Blues were leading game 6  by 2 goals but when I woke up on Sunday morning I saw we lost 6 to 3. What happened?! So in that moment I decided that I would watch game 7, I needed to change the mojo for us. Now, obviously I’m not on the ice, so I know that I can’t really change the way the game goes. But in the moment I felt like I was making a difference. Superstitions are all mental like that.

So why are players so superstitous? Does it work? The players would argue that it does. I know I argued the same when I was playing. It doesn’t so much matter if it actually works, as long as the players think it works. If it puts them in a good mental state where they can play their best then more power too them, carry on with your superstitions

Also, let’s go Blues!

Do you have anything you are superstitious about?

2 thoughts on “The Wonderful World of Sports: Why So Superstitous?

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