Wearing underwear backwards or rubbing a hunchback, which is your favorite?
We all believe, to some degree, in strange superstitions. We have our good luck socks, a ritual to start the day or we avoid throwing the salt. And it is that luck never ceases to surprise us.
However, there are environments where beliefs cross borders, as in the theater. But the second most superstitious field in the world is sports. Well, the variant of competitiveness and winning a fight leads athletes to create strange rituals or use good luck charms that, for many, could be unusual or embarrassing.
Here are some anecdotes of famous athletes with strange superstitions:
El Calvo and "I Will Survive"
Let's go back to July 12, 1998, when two titans played in the World Cup Gold Cup: France vs Brazil.
During the previous four games, the French captain, Laurent Blanc, was with his goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, who was completely bald and kissed his head, in front of the crowd of fans.
From that ritual, the team won its first match. But when they faced Italy in the quarterfinals and went 0-0, they heard Gloria Gaynor's song “I will survive” in the locker room.
So kiss the bald man's head (which all the players were doing by the final) and listen to “I will survive” together in the locker room, before each game. This became one of the team's strange superstitions.
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The ace up his sleeve was named Zinedine Zidane. That year the Cup stayed at home, because after an intense match, the superstition paid off. France defeated Brazil 3-0.
Soft Toys, Good Luck Charms
During the 2004 Athens Olympics, athletes from the German Olympic rowing team presented their constant companion to the cameras. A stuffed turtle that, with credential and all, climbed into the boat to support the shirts. Well, according to them, it was their good luck charm.
Stuffed animals are a constant among athletes. Maurren Maggi, a Brazilian jumper, confessed that during the 2008 Beijing Olympics he carried a stuffed dog with him. His plush friend's name was Leon and he helped him make good leaps in his introductions.
On the other hand, during the 2016 Rio Olympics, rugby player Evania Pelite always carried a huge stuffed kangaroo with her. She took him to games, played him to the anthem, and journalists even photographed her eating with him.
Apparently stuffed animals make very good good luck charms. Maggi got the gold medal in the long jump. The Australian women's rugby team also won gold. Only the Athenian team and their tortoise came second in 1 of 6 women's rowing events.
Green Flame Death
One afternoon in 1911 the famous "Syracuse tragedy" occurred at the New York fair. Lee Oldfield, a car racer, crashed his green car on a bad turn, killing 12 people.
Over the years, the Chevrolet brothers' cars were one of the most popular for auto racing. Until the fateful November 1920, Gastón Chevrolet died in the Beverly Hills race, at the age of 28 in his showy green car.
Chevrolet has since stopped releasing green cars, just like Ford.
They call it the green superstition, within NASCAR racing. A fear that (like purple in the theater) eats away at the corridors. There were racing stars in the 50's and 60's who even refused to run if any member of the pits or among their team wore a green garment.
Although there are green cars that have won cups since then and several do not believe in superstition, the truth is that green is one of the least preferred colors within car dealers.
Curses and Rituals
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Just as there are superstitions, there are also curses. Like all those that haunt the world of American baseball.
One of the best known is that of the Boston Red Sox who, after selling their player Babe Ruth to the Yankees, began a losing streak that lasted 86 years. That is why a curious story circulates. The Red Sox are supposed to have buried a jersey of their own team in the new Yankee Stadium for them to start with the new bad luck.
On the other hand, the curse of the goat Billy is even more curious. It turns out that a fan was not allowed in to see the World Series between the Cubs and Detroit for taking his goat with him. It is believed that he put a curse on the team. That's why since 1945 they haven't attended a single World Series.
No Women Allowed
Within fishing, strange superstitions also abound. It is a complicated sport because its practitioners cannot really control their environment. For example, they can't win if the fish don't cooperate.
Practically a part of the fair remains in the hands of fate and for this they have quite curious rituals.
It is completely forbidden to fish on Friday because, among other things, it is the day that Christ died. A woman should never be brought on board because it could cause unheard of animals to attack the boat.
Whistles control the wind, so if there are storm clouds it's okay to whistle, but if it's clear you can attract strong winds. If the current suddenly starts to rise, it is best to toss a coin into the sea to buy the tide. And of course the waves always count, because the ninth wave is the one that can sink the boat so you have to take care of your course. Why the ninth? Who knows.
Baseball players who wet their hands before hitting. Fans wearing underwear backwards. Footballers who pray before each game. Trainers looking to rub a hunchback. And number 13 among the competitors. These are just some of the beliefs and good luck charms in the sports world.
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The sports field is a cluster of strange superstitions that, far from being curious anecdotes, it is better to follow to the letter if one wants to win the game. At least in what is discovered what mystical forces help to win or lose.
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