Rabbits Against Magic tackles the really irrational part of sports superstitions.
As opposed, y'know, to the rational part.
I'm fairly tolerant of player superstitions: If not stepping on the first base line as you head back to the dugout at the end of an inning, or wearing a particular T-shirt under your pads, or not shaving before a game, helps you focus or puts you in a better frame of mind, go for it.
We'll ignore the fact that what you've really done is simply created ways to put yourself in a bad frame of mind so you could avoid them. Kind of like scattering broken glass on your livingroom floor so you can have something to not step on.
But it becomes totally ludicrous when the fans start picking up on it and thinking their underwear is going to change the outcome.
I'll certainly grant that supportive home crowds, especially loud ones, can influence games and when fans get psyched, they get loud and supportive.
My favorite sports blogger is TexansChick Steph Stradley, who blogs for the Houston Chronicle. Aside from really knowing her football, she's an attorney who can analyze contract and labor issues in the game, but she's also as apt to reference Monty Python as Vince Lombardi and she peppers her blog with Led Zeppelin videos and, while recognizing the difference between foolishness and viable fan support, celebrates both.
I admire anyone who can analyze a football team's performance in depth while referencing Charlie Brown and Star Wars in a single blog entry that also includes a wonderful rant against playing Katy Perry on the stadium sound system.
And who passes along fan art such as this Avengers/Texans mashup:
But even Steph -- who dances back and forth across the line between keeping sports in perspective and going completely and joyfully bonkers on game day -- would acknowledge that there is no point in turning your ball cap inside out if you're home watching the game on TV.
And then there is this:
By virtue of enrolling at Notre Dame in 1967, I missed by only one or two years a weekly newsletter put out to all the dorms by a priest who would -- I am not making this up -- compile the total number of communions received the week before and analyze it in terms of the outcome of that week's football game.
That seems to me well into blasphemy territory, and, while I understand that he'd simply assume that there were more hosts distributed in South Bend than in Chestnut Hill to explain the Irish's 12-9 record against Boston College, I really, really don't want to hear his analysis of their 4-2 record against Brigham Young or their 10-3 advantage over Southern Methodist.
And here let me repeat a "Tommy Watches TV" favorite from 2001 by friend-of-the-blog Owen Dunne, who is way ahead of me at this point anyway:
In "The Long Winter," Mary and Laura have a serious religious debate over whether it is proper for them to pray for Cap Garland and Almanzo Wilder, who have set out in a blizzard to try to find food for the snowbound, starving town. Mary justifies their defiance of doctrine by saying that she never asked God to let them find the rumored wheat. "I only said please to save their lives if it's God's will."
I don't think you have to endorse that strict and rock-bound a view of the cosmos to believe that people should be able to distinguish between wearing lucky socks and asking God to intervene in the outcome of a sporting event.
My senior year, I sat near a guy who used to stand up and holler this during the games, the voice of one crying out in a stadium.