The Orion

Wildcat athletes’ game-day superstitions

Nick Martinez-Esquibel

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All throughout sports there are strange superstitions or out of the ordinary game-day routines.

There are some universal ones that everyone follows. For example, in baseball, if a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter, no one is allowed to talk to him in between innings when he is on the bench. There is also the belief that athletes should not wash the jersey or clothes they played in if they won that day.

Looking a little deeper, there are also some very specific routines that players follow. Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher always watched his favorite fishing show and ate two cookies — chocolate chip most of the time — before every game. Hall of Fame baseball player Wade Boggs always ate chicken before he played because he thought it would improve his hitting.

Athletes’ superstitions and habits do not just pop up when they hit the big time. They were developed over many years.

The Orion asked a few Chico State athletes about their superstitions or game-day routines:

“I wake up, get a bagel from the place downtown, and then get Jamba Juice after. Go back to sleep after I’m done, watch a movie, just chill, then shoot around. After I shoot around, I go get Subway — same time, same sandwich, every single time. Then I take another nap, basically just wasting time. Then I get some pasta at Olive Garden before the game — same pasta, same everything — and after, I go over to the game. I have two different types of Adidas socks. So on Friday games, I wear one kind and on Saturday games, I wear the other kind. I just try to do the same thing every time.”

Corey Silverstrom, first-year, guard, men’s basketball team

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Corey Silverstrom practices at Acker Gym on Jan 22. Photo credit: John Domogma

“I always put my socks on the same feet, never touch the (foul) line. I always go on the mound to the right of the sprinkler head that’s behind the mound. There’s probably a thousand more like that but those are the few I remember. We also sit in the same spots on the bench as a team if we are all hitting well. Oh, and never talk to the pitcher if he’s throwing a no-hitter.”

Robert Engels, junior, pitcher, men’s baseball team

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Robert Engels, pitcher for the Chico State baseball team, relaxes before practice. Photo credit: George Johnston

“Before games and stuff, in the locker room, we have the same spots we sit in. Pregame, our stretching, we have the same partners for the pregame stretching. For the national anthem, we stand in the same place next to each other. Usually I eat the same kind of meal before a game, like a sandwich or something, something that’s not too heavy and on the healthier side. You’re like ‘aw I played good that game, what did I eat before?’ For the most part our superstitions are like standing and sitting next to the same people every game.”

Brooke Bowen, junior, guard/forward, women’s basketball team

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Wildcat Brooke Bowen, left, practices at Acker Gym in preparation for the basketball team's upcoming games. Photo credit: Caio Calado


Nick Martinez can be reached at [email protected] or @THENickMartinez on Twitter.

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Wildcat athletes’ game-day superstitions