Across the SB Nation NHL network this week, NBC Sports is sponsoring a series about playoff hockey and superstitions. Superstitions abound in sports. Here's our contribution:
I find Ellen Etchingham to be a fascinating writer. Some might find her too verbose but it's hard to argue that she doesn't nail a lot of the emotions around hockey perfectly. The best example is her opus on superstitions and why fans hold so tightly to them:
This is why we have our rituals, because having a team in the playoffs is like having a volcano in the middle of your village: sooner or later it's going to blow, and you have absolutely no control over when that will happen, nor even any idea when. So we search for propitiating sacrifices or at least comforting rituals, charms and effigies and symbolic garb that will make the outcome seem less uncertain, or make us look more confident than we are, or at least make us identifiable to each other. So that at least, when we face down this long, cruel spring, we don't have to do it alone.
I'm no different. The list of my superstitions growing up was exhaustive. I listened to La Gota Fria by Carlos Vives before every game because of the part of the song where it talks about the opposition being chilled by fear. Before every season in hight schooll I would have the school chaplain bless my gloves. I put on my equipment in the order every game. In 93, I'd walk underneath a ladder before every game in order to draw any possible bad luck towards me rather than the Leafs. I also watched every game at home.
In my head I know none of these things matter but I still wonder if watching game seven at my uncle's house in Toronto wasn't the reason the Leafs lost. My dad and I have never watched another playoff game there. Hell, in this series I even mused that maybe watching with Cats Sundin was bad luck. at the heart of all of these things, as Ellen puts it, is the search for a secret edge. Something that can help our team over the hump. Even the pros do it
James van Riemsdyk got a haircut yesterday and was chirped by superstitious #leaf teammates when he got to the rink today.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 12, 2013
The Leafs don't have to worry though because I haven't cut my hair in over two months. It must be the one with the magic.
What are some of your game day superstitions?