Super Bowl LIII Will Showcase Fun Superstitions and Football-Fueled Rituals

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The world will be watching on 3 February when the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots take the field to square off in Super Bowl LIII at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. With the Super Bowl comes traditions: the superior commercials, fried food galore, tailgating, and the gathering of friends and family. For many NFL fans, the Super Bowl marks a sacred occasion, a holiday of sorts.

Along with the big game traditions and celebrations comes a litany of Super Bowl superstitions. Fans and players alike are known to cling to peculiar behavior, symbolic items, and inexplicable rituals in a quest for the divine rulers of the football universe to bestow good fortune on their chosen teams.

The NFL season is a long, grueling affair that requires as much emotional stamina as physical. It’s only natural that football nation turns to supernatural intervention when searching for the Lombardi Trophy. Let’s examine a few of the colorful superstitions that pop-up this time of year as Super Bowl fever pushes into overdrive.

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Photo by Andrew Dyer / CC BY-SA 2.0

No Shave + No Laundry = Winning?

NFL players and male fans often forgo facial hair shaving throughout the season, or at least the playoffs. We suppose the idea is for opponents to “fear the beard”. It’s one thing to play against another football team; it’s quite another to battle a team of Viking warriors.

And yes, many spectators and even some players choose to wear the same jersey and undergarments—t-shirt, socks, etc. for each game without laundering them in-between. The caked-in dirt and sweat makes this a winning superstition, right? A little gross, but we can’t argue with results.

What’s For Dinner?

Players and fans like to eat the same meal before every game, especially if said meal led to a big win in the past or a great game for an individual player. Superstition is often all about repetition. Let’s just hope the players are eating healthier than the fans come Super Bowl Sunday.

Photo by Voice of America / CC0 1.0

Living Room Rituals

We all have that family member or friend who won’t get up from their spot on the couch because, if they do, their team will toss an interception, or the star player will go down. On the other hand, we all have that other friend who chooses to stand up and pace throughout the entire game for the same reason.

Grandpa has to drink the same type of beer out of the same glass, Mom has to serve the chili at halftime and not ONE minute before, Uncle Jim has to hop on one foot every time his team kicks…you get the point. Does any of this work? It doesn’t matter. Those who believe in superstitions will risk looking ridiculous or getting a foot cramp if there’s the slightest chance their behavior sways the game’s outcome.

Touch the Mascot

Most NFL teams have a loveable, goofy mascot charged with entertaining the crowd at home games. For those within arm’s reach, it’s considered a misfortune not to touch the mascot as he or she runs onto the field.

Similarly, players and fans may keep some type of token close by, like a coin or four-leaf clover, to touch during a game.

Put Your Money in the Game

Some people’s primary interest in the Super Bowl is the betting. The NFL’s crowning moment is typically the most wagered on sports event each year, with punters kicking in north of $100 million in legal bets.

These aren’t uneducated fans wistfully tossing coins into a wishing well. Bettors diligently collect NFL betting tips and predictions throughout the season in hopes of parlaying the
information into a nice win on Super Bowl Sunday.

Whether you believe in any of these superstitions or not, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the best days of the year for sports fans. Enjoy your friends, family, the food, and, if you choose to hop on one foot like Uncle Jim, no judgment here.