Gameday Superstitions: Surprising Superstitions from Pro Athletes

Guys are creatures of habit but these habits often lead to infamous superstitions—especially in athletes. If there is anything in the way of a star player going through his ritual or game day plan, everything can go out of whack, and that’s exactly where the weirdest superstitions in sports come from. Here are our favorites.


Wade Boggs: Wade Boggs is known throughout sports as a member of the 3,000 hit club. How he was able to get all of those hits was not just through practice and skill. Instead, Boggs believed that eating chicken before a game meant he would produce a game with multiple hits. It certainly seemed to work for him!


Michael Jordan: There’s a reason that basketball players wear long shorts these days. They’re all copying MJ. However, Michael Jordan didn’t wear long shorts to be cool or as some kind of fashion statement. Instead, he wore them to cover up his UNC shorts that he wore underneath his Bulls uniform for every game. There must have been some magic in that fabric because Jordan is unequivocally the greatest NBA player of all time.


Patrick Roy: This great goalie didn’t rely on food or clothes to win games, but rather on the relationship he would make with the net. Before games Roy would skate backwards towards the net and turn around to face it at the last second. He would also thank the posts for any puck they saved. Having a friend in the net helped him become one of the best goalies of all time.


Jason Giambi: The big time slugger had a funky way of getting himself out of a big time slump. In an act that definitely didn’t involve his hitting coach, Giambi would wear a golden thong on gameday to get out of his slump. The power of the thong was highly regarded by teammates who would often ask to borrow it when they were having their own problems at the plate. Even Yankee legend Derek Jeter admitted to using the thong on occasion.


Mike Bibby: The former NBA guard used to take great care of his fingernails during timeouts. Bibby was worried about the length of his fingernails and would always cut them during in-game timeouts. The nail trimming helped Bibby hold a 14 year career in the NBA and let him win an NCAA championship during his time at Arizona.



John Henderson: This big defensive linemen loved hitting people and apparently loved getting hit. Before every game Henderson would make an assistant slap him across the face. While entertaining to watch, Henderson needed the slap to “wake up” before the game.


Jason Terry: “The Jet” has his own clothing superstition that has helped him win an NBA championship and remain in the league for years. The night before every game, Terry finds and wears a pair of shorts of the opposing team. It helped Terry become a deadly three point shooter throughout his career.

bjorn borg

Björn Borg: Casual sports fans may not know his name, but this tennis star from the 70’s was an influencer on playoff and championship beards as we know them today. Borg would grow a beard in preparation for Wimbledon every year. There must have been some magic in his facial hair as he went on to win the tournament five times in a row from 1976 until 1980. Who knows how many championships Borg could have won if he had grown the beard for each Grand Slam event.


Glen Hall: This NHL goalie has one of the grossest pre-game rituals for sure. Prior to games, Hall would force himself to throw up in the toilet, believing he wasn’t giving it his all if he didn’t. Such dedication to vomiting clearly worked for Hall, as he went on to hold the NHL record for consecutive starts before it was broken by Doug Jarvis.


Lyoto Machida: It didn’t take long to find something grosser than Glen Hall’s vomiting, UFC star Lyoto Machida believes in drinking his own urine every day. The Brazilian fighter claims to have learned the practice from his father. I don’t want to know what he thinks he should have done to avoid his 7 professional losses.


From the right meal to forced vomiting, its clear that a star player will do almost anything to make his game day the best it can be. Would you be willing to go to such lengths? Do you already have your own superstitions? If you’re racking up wins like these stars have, we won’t judge.