Superstitions are a real thing

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Superstitions are weird, and they make people do some ridiculous and head-scratching things, and I may be the one driving the bus on this one.
I’m not really the superstitious type, until it comes to sports. I do so many things in the name of superstition that I forget I’m even doing them.
Let’s just run through some examples so you can get an inside look at what I think about sports.
DISCLAIMER: Once you see what I’m thinking, it may influence you to start doing the same.
Here’s something simple to start with. For example, back when the Huskers defeated Michigan State in the latter part of the year, I was wearing a particular Nebraska shirt, sweatpants and cap. You bet your bottom dollar that I wore that exact same outfit throughout the remainder of the season. When Dave and I went and covered the Iowa game, that particular part of my uniform was buried about three layers deep. It didn’t work, but it sure as heck beat UCLA in the bowl game.
This is one of my more favorite ones and I can’t help but feel myself considering it nonstop -- where I’m at during any sporting event.
If the team I am rooting for is playing well and winning, I’m not moving. If you move, that’s when things go south. It’s happened to me oh so many times. I get up to do something during the game and sit in a different seat, everything goes wrong. As soon as I notice my error, it’s a massive panick freak out until I rectify the issue. Sometimes, it’s too late. Other times, the damage has already been done.
There have been times when I’ve been laying down on the couch during a game and they want me to move so they can sit down. Um, we’re winning by two touchdowns. You can sit on the floor. Mean, maybe. Right move, absolutely.
Now that I’ve become a media member, this is one of the worst -- the broadcaster’s jinx. It’s a terrible, nasty outcome that occurs immediately after you think everything will be okay.
If I happen to mention that Tommy Armstrong has been throwing the ball with perfection in the first half, guess what? Interception. If I enure that Tommy Leininger will sink both free throws because he has ice water in his veins, he’s likely to brick one or both of those foul attempts (Sorry, Tommy. I won’t ever do it again.)
The worst part is, you never realize that you’re doing it until it’s too late. On those occasions where I’ve committed the crime, there are times where I catch myself doing it while it’s still in progress. It doesn’t matter, the damage has been done.
Food is another big superstition that can be the difference between a win and a loss.
Flashback to Nebraska’s big win over Miami at home in 2014. I ate a meatball sub, a sandwich I’ve eaten plenty of times before or during a big game. But, it’s not just any meatball sub. Each six-inch side had eight meatballs on it, and was cut precisely so that there were eight meatballs on each side. Why? Ameer Abdullah wear’s No. 8. What happened that day?
Abdullah destroyed the Hurricanes for a career-high 313 all-purpose yards, including 229 rushing yards and two touchdowns on a then career-high 35 carries. It works, people.
One of the several reasons I have so many superstitions is that they help me feel like I’m in control. There’s nothing worse than just having to sit and watch your team fail. In the big moments of the game everyone want to feel like somehow, in some little way, we were partially responsible for the good that comes of the game.

RICHARD RHODEN can be reached at

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