A well-known and popular superstition is the concept of a lucky jersey. It is believed that simply washing the jersey is bad luck and will affect the desired outcome of a game. One of the most famous jersey superstitions in sports history is Michael Jordan. During his career with the Chicago Bulls, he wore his North Carolina Tar Heels shorts under his Bulls uniform, because he wore them while leading the Tar Heels to a national championship in 1982. When a part of the uniform, whether it be the jersey, shorts, or even socks, is worn while that player or team won a game (often a championship or a game that is perceived as impossible), it is considered lucky and simply washing it could completely affect the “juju” or “mojo” of the team.
Many fans believe that when a team wins, it is because of a lucky jersey or article of clothing. Some will not dare wash their jersey the entire season or even at all. The simple concept of water and soap is too frightening. While I am sure that it will make for a smelly game, the team's win is believed to be relying on the jersey. However, I am sure there are many other interpretations of these superstitions!
Another athlete who is known to be extremely superstitious is Serena Williams. While she is on a
winning streak, she will continue to wear the same pair of unwashed socks in every match until she eventually loses. She also has a few others such as bringing her shower sandals to the court, tying her shoelaces in a specific way, and bouncing the ball a certain number of times before a serve. She has even publicly blamed many of her losses on her superstitions.
Fans are not the only ones in the sports community known for being superstitious, and both Michael Jordan and Serena Williams are just two examples. I believe that it is a safe assumption that every athlete in major league sports has a superstition whether they are aware of it or not. However, many of the most well-known and famous superstitions in sports history often involve an article of clothing that is worn repeatedly.
And if you want truly funny superstitions, look up Jason Giambi, who was a first baseman in the MLB. This is guaranteed to generate a laugh and show just how far athletes are willing to go in order to win!
This fall I am going to explore some crazy fan superstitions! If you have any superstitions, reach out to be featured in our weekly column!