The Crazy Things I’ve Done to Help My Sports Teams Win

Sports fans are superstitious. This is not new. I am not writing something revolutionary. We do a lot of things as fans with the belief that our actions will transcend the boundaries of a stadium, television or radio (or Twitter updates). This can be explained by the psychological phenomenon called Magic Thinking. As future clinical psychologist Paula Freedman explained to me, magical thinking is the belief that actions can illogically affect the outcome of another event.

I engage in these crazy rituals all of the time while watching my teams play, thinking my actions will help Northwestern, the Ravens, the Orioles and any of my fantasy baseball players succeed. If I take a step back and look at things rationally, I know my actions are beyond absurd, with insanity not far out of the equation.

I’ve done a lot of crazy things with the belief that my teams would benefit from my sacrifices. Below is a list of many of those actions I have taken in the name of victory:


  1. Watched a game in the same place on a couch continuously
  2. Stayed in the same position while watching a game
  3. Stayed frozen in my same spot in the same position for well over an hour at a time
  4. Checked Twitter during every commercial break
  5. Refused to check my phone for an entire game
  6. Checked text messages religiously throughout a game
  7. Let text messages go unanswered throughout a game
  8. Worn the same shirt for every game (washing it in between games)
  9. Worn the same shirt for every game (not washing it in between games)
  10. Eaten the same food prior to each game
  11. Chewed a fingernail and kept it in my mouth for long periods of time (gross, I know)
  12. Kicked friends out of a room while I’m watching a game because they were “bad luck”
  13. Repeated the same sentence in my head before each play (sentence varied)
  14. Made deals with a higher-being that I would later retract postgame
  15. Held in urine for unhealthy amounts of time
  16. Tried to urinate during every commercial break
  17. Changed clothing when something bad happened to my team
  18. #17  includes underwear
  19. Muted the sound during a game even though the sound was not annoying me
  20. Reorganized countless aspects of the room in which I was watching the game
  21. Taken a shower in the middle of a game to wash away the bad luck
  22. Watched the game in complete darkness because things were going well
  23. Parked my car in a certain spot before the game
  24. Moved my car in the middle of a game if my team was losing
  25. Listened to certain bands before the game
  26. Made sure that band was playing on my ipod even if I didn’t listen to music before the game
  27. Thought about what it would be like for my team to win in the middle of the game
  28. Thought about what it would be like for my team to lose in the middle of the game
  29. Yelled at myself for thinking about the outcome in the middle of the game
  30. Turned my back on the TV during commercial breaks
  31. Watched each commercial as if it were the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 of the World Series
  32. Changed the channel during commercial breaks
  33. Covered my face during big plays
  34. Stood on one foot for big plays
  35. Stood during big plays, but on two feet
  36. Changed the temperature in the room
  37. Made the temperature uncomfortable just to help my team win
  38. Browsed the Internet during the game to help my team win
  39. Turned my computer off and placed it in another room during the game
  40. Just placed the computer on sleep
  41. Gone through the same routine prior to each game- meal, clothing, actions
  42. Shaved on gameday
  43. Let my beard (stubble) grow until after the game
  44. Clapped the same number of times before a play
  45. Clapped the same number of times after a good play
  46. Drank a sip of water at specific intervals during a game
  47. Gathered the same group of friends to watch a game
  48. Worried that my team would lose when one of the friends could not watch the game
  49. Repeated phrases such as “Come on, let’s go” before a string of plays
  50. If my team wins: Remember every action I took, food/drink I consumed and article of clothing I won for the next game
  51. If my team loses: Take all of the above and throw it out the window, figuratively and, in some cases, literally

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