Hard-to-Shake Superstition

I’m incredibly superstitious.

I’m a grown, well-educated adult, but for some reason, I can’t shake the idea of superstitions, especially when it comes to sports—both watching them and playing them.

My proudest (or stupidest) example: I spent the last two minutes and all of the five-minute overtime during the 2008 NCAA National Title game in the bathroom.

In a huff because my Kansas Jayhawks were losing to Memphis, I decided I’d just go wash my face and get ready for bed. I didn’t care that we had company over. I was pissed.

But then, through the bathroom door, I heard screaming. Hooting. Hollering. The vibration of my husband jumping up and down. The Jayhawks were coming back.

So I didn’t move.

I stayed right there, sitting on the toilet, through the biggest moments my team has had this decade: “Mario’s Miracle” three-pointer at the buzzer, the obliteration of Memphis in overtime, my team’s first NCAA championship in 20 years.

Sure, I could’ve moved. I could’ve seen it go down live. But what would’ve happened if I’d left the bathroom?

That’s a “what if” I don’t want to think about.

I know it’s completely silly to think that anything I do in my own home is going to affect the luck of a bunch of college kids I don’t know/have never met/who work really hard to make their own luck.

Yet, I still do all I can by being superstitious.

Other things I’ve done for my Jayhawks? Changed shirts at halftime to help spark a rally. Ordered the same food on gameday for weeks on end during the NCAA Tournament, because if eating pizza worked the first time, it’d work the next time (until we lost). Sat on the floor for two straight hours, terrified to move because they were up in a close game.

Does any of this make my team more lucky? Probably not. But does it make me feel better? Yes.

This is the same reason I always eat the same food before my ultramarathons (animal crackers from a certain bin at our co-op), always wear the same visor to said races, and tend to have the same post-race food (Chipotle).

So, yep, superstitions are real to me even if they’re silly. Are you superstitious?


7 thoughts on “Hard-to-Shake Superstition”

  1. Hi Sarah, Stephen told me I couldn’t watch the Broncos because they were ahead before I sat on the couch, then rapidly behind. I have another friend who must wear a tin foil hat when she watches them. Those commercials about superstitions and games are funny.


  2. Sarah, I could have written this post! “I can’t turn on the game – they’re winning” or “I didn’t watch last week and they won, so I can’t watch this week.” Like that even makes a difference. My husband just shakes his head at me. And my triathlete friend MUST eat pancakes after a race. Part reward, part superstition. In fact, my story in LUCKY CHARMS centers around superstition: a baseball player who must wear the same socks every game, the socks he was wearing when he started his potential-record-setting hitting streak. 🙂


  3. I love it! I, too, admit to a few superstitious quirks–I knock wood, definitely. And I’ve been known to take a bathroom break to spur a resurgence by my chosen team if they scored the last time I did so. In a way, it can be kind of fun. Thanks for sharing!


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