Top 10 Quirks of Notable Sportsmen
While skill, ability and a desire to win are key ingredients for achieving success in any sport, many sportsmen believe that luck plays just an important role as anything else. It is no wonder then that players and fans have their own ways of avoiding bad luck, from what may seem routine to downright absurd.
I looked up these superstitions/quirks and selected my favorite ten. Here they are, ranked from one (understandable) to ten (OMG).
Take basketballs favorite son, Michael Jordan, first. He won every accolade the game had to offer in his Chicago Bulls uniform, but even he had a quirk. The all-star player wore his University of North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform in every game because he believed it brought him luck. In order to cover those lucky shorts, MJ wore longer shorts on top which inspired a trend in the NBA as well.
You’re probably thinking “that’s not so bad”, right? Well it’s about to get very, very strange because next up is Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg whose superstition related to just one event- Wimbledon. Borg prepared for the event by growing a beard and wearing the same white Fila shirt to matches. Did it work? Yes, because Borg won five straight titles from 1976 to 1980!
In at number three is hard hitting baseball player Jason Giambi. In his prime, Giambi was a pitchers worst nightmare, but what is interesting is his solution to a poor run of form- A golden thong. That’s right. Whenever the six foot three inch baseman was in a poor run of form, he would slip his 240 pound body into a thong and more often than not, it would work.
At number four we have Neil Warnock, the former Queens Park Rangers manager. During a run of winning results, Warnock would stop at all traffic lights on his way home, even if they were Green. Nice way to get the drivers behind you in a bit of road rage. But wait! There are still others who top Mr. Warnock.
Chelsea defender John Terry has over fifty quirks, the most notable one being using the same urinal in the stadium dressing room, and if the spot is taken he will wait until it is free, even if other urinals were already vacant. Not only this, but JT always sits in the same spot on the team bus and parks in the same spot in the parking lot.
6. The last one to put on shorts
Old timer Bobby Moore makes the list at number six. Moore captained England in the 1960’s and 1970’s and had a classic pre-match ritual which involved putting on his shorts after everyone else had done so first. Team-mate Martin Peters eventually noticed this and so he once waited for Bobby to put on his shorts before takings his (Peters’) down again. He would then watch as Bobby would take off his shorts and wait for Peters to put his shorts back on.
I would say this is excessive but being a football fanatic all I can say is “whatever you need to do to win boys, whatever you need to do”. My top four superstitious sportsmen have each set the bar really high and so it was a difficult decision deciding who should top the list.
The number seven entrant represents the world of tennis, namely Goran Ivanisevic. If Ivanisevic won a match during a tournament, he would repeat everything he did the day he won. He would wear the same clothes, eat at the same restaurant, and even talk to the same people. I would recommend getting a life to Ivanisevic but he has already admitted that the routine can become quite boring. Lucky for him (in a way I guess) he does not last very long in tournaments.
The next entry is Louisiana State University football coach Les Miles who has a grass habit. Mr. Miles eats some of the grass on the field before every single game and even during pressure moments. When asked about it he said it “humbles” him and that “the grass in Tiger Stadium tastes best”.
Eight entries down and I just realized that even I have a quirk. Thankfully I am not crazy enough to eat grass or repeat everything I did on the day of a good exam, but its close. Just like David Beckham (who unfortunately did not make my list of quirks), I have an obsessive compulsive disorder as it seems. When studying for my exams, I need everything on my table at specific angles including my stapler, calendar, laptop and so on. My room must be clean and all my stationery should be kept on the right hand side of my notes. The reason why I mention this now is because no matter how weird I came off, the top two superstitions will make me look ever so normal.
My number nine entry is Kevin Rhomberg, who featured in Major League baseball. He was not that famous and the only reason historians talk about him is because he was exceptionally weird. Kevin Rhomberg never turned right on the field; when he had to turn right he would spin left. Even weirder is how the man reacted when players or coaches touched him. Basically, he had to touch them back. As an example, if he was touched when sliding into base then he would chase the fielder down and touch him back, every single time.
10. Too much information
Finally, it is time to unveil my number one pick for the weirdest superstition in sports industry. A word of caution though, this is more disgusting than it is weird. Mixed martial arts lightweight champion Lyoto Machida- wait for it- drinks his own urine. It is unclear to me if this is his way of self torture or superstition but the champion believes urine is a natural medicine that cleanses his body. For all we know, he might be right because he is yet to lose a round in his professional career.
So there you have it, my top ten sporting superstitions. It should be noted here that selecting these is a matter of opinion; maybe somebody reading this blog would think that Italian footballer Gennaro Gattuso should have featured in the top ten and not, let’s say, John Terry. Why? Google it.