Dick’s Sporting Goods: October 2017

Addison Dick, Sports Editor

Watching the Chicago Cubs’ playoff games this month, I found myself forming superstitions lasting from the first playoff game until the Los Angeles Dodgers eliminated them (there’s always last year, right?).

My superstitions ranged from not changing the volume level during the game to wearing the same Anthony Rizzo jersey I wore when the Cubs came back in Game One of the NLCS against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.

Throughout the Cubs’ run, I kept the same meticulous traditions, for no apparent reason.

While my superstitions paid off last year with the Cubs winning the World Series, this year was not quite so successful.

My actions made me think about superstitions and the role they play in sports.  Fans and players at all levels have their unique quirks.  “I have more superstitions than most people, and some are pretty unique,” senior baseball player Brendan Barrette said.  “I eat the same meal before every game that I pitch.  I go to Jimmy John’s and get sandwich number four with salt and vinegar chips.  Also, I wear navy blue Converse only on days that I pitch.”

Barrette’s actions are not uncommon among athletes.  “Many swimmers hit their muscles and shake their arms out right before a race,” said senior Julia Thomason, member of the girls’ swimming and water polo teams.

Throughout the Cubs’ run, I kept the same meticulous traditions, for no apparent reason.

While some people think superstitions have no impact on athletes’ performance, superstitions can help athletes be in the best mental state possible before a big game.  “I value routine, and if something goes well for me, I like to keep doing that,” Barrette said.  “Depending on how my last outing went, I will either keep the same music to warm up or change it.”

“Athletes have superstitions and routines so they have one thing already done before their game or race and so they start already having something that makes them comfortable,” Thomason said.  “If they have been successful before by doing a certain routine, they think they have to do it every time to repeat that success.”

While it might not help fans as much as athletes, I found my superstitions during the Cubs’ games helped relieve my stress before the game.  Because I was wearing the same jersey (don’t worry, I washed it) and sat in the same spot for every game, I felt more confident in the Cubs’ ability to win.

Next time you are stressed or worried because it’s do or die for your favorite team, form some superstitions.  Who knows, it might be enough to end a 108-year World Series drought.