We’ve all heard of the crazy superstitions surrounding sports. Spitting into your hand before picking up the bat, wearing the same socks to continue a winning streak, et cetera. Athletes, coaches, and fans alike have looked towards these superstitions and rituals to explains their teams’ wins and losses. Texas Tech is one of those teams. After defeating Lamar 77-0 earlier this season, Kliff Kingsbury attributed the win to his growing beard, so he kept the beard. He let it continue to grow week by week until the Red Raiders recent loss to West Virginia. People loved it. Every press conference he was asked about his beard. Even the staff at Viva the Matadors was enthralled by the beard, but did the beard really serve it’s purpose? Do any of these rituals and superstitions really work?
We often think the odds of our favorite team winning a game is in part due to their previous history of winning or losing and which article of clothing they wore (or how long their beard was) when, in reality, the results of the game are determined by many different and unrelated factors.
One of the best known superstitions in sports is that of the Chicago Cubs and the billy goat. In the 1945 World Series, a fan called Billy was ejected from Wrigley Field because his goat smelled bad. Apparently nobody cared about the fact he had a goat, just that it smelled bad. Obviously Billy was not happy and loudly proclaimed that the Cubs would never win a world series again, and they did not until 2016. As the Cubs struggled to make any postseason appearances, this superstition surround the billy goat grew, but the blame did not stop with the goat. They blames a black cat and then a fan that deflected a ball and prevented Cubs left fielder Moises Alou from potentially making a putout. The list goes on, but how true can all of these be?
Kliff Kingsbury is not the first one to grow a beard for good luck. NHL players are known for growing their beard once the Stanley Cup Playoffs start, and they do not shave until their team is eliminated. New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman grows his beard during the post season, and look how many Super Bowl rings the Patriots have. Surely the beard is a good sign right?
Sadly, the bearded Kliff Kinsgbury is no more, and I can’t really decide if the beard was the reason the Red Raiders have done so well on the field this season. I don’t know how true these superstitions are. I don’t know if I even believe all of them, but they sure are fun.
Do you believe in sports superstitions?
This poll is closed
They’re just a bunch of hocus pocus.
Eh. They don’t hurt or help the game.