Ah, superstition in sport. The two go together like the proverbial peanut butter and jelly.
High-pressure situations, the constant quest for an edge, curious personalities, and the confirmation bias are all folded into a sweet batter of unfalsifiable beliefs. Who knows why, but athlete superstitions are a big part of the rich tapestry of professional sport.
And to avoid going “all urine” with this list of 10, we’re excluding the popular belief that peeing on one’s hands toughens the skins (popular in baseball). You’re welcome.
Here are 10 of the strangest athlete superstitions:
This goalie peed himself
Sergio Javier Goycochea was best known for his penalty kick saves, according to his Wikipedia page. So it must be true! And what was his secret to saving PKs? Pissing his pants, of course. The Argentine said he wet himself before every kick. (Photo source/Wikimedia)
…and this MMA fighter drank his own pee
Also from the bodily fluids department: You can’t forget the widely circulated bit of news regarding UFC fighter Lyoto Machida. Machida drinks his own urine every day as a “natural medicine.”
Turk Wendell was all kinds of weird
Former MLB pitcher Turk Wendell would hop over the chalk line and was obsessed with the number 99. He also worse a gigantic necklace featuring the teeth of animals he had killed. He always pitched with several pieces of licorice in his mouth. Hey...whatever works. (Photo source/Wikimedia)
It’s not always clear why athletes do what they do, but you can’t argue with results. If it worked once, it’ll work a thousand times – provided you don’t upset the fickle sports gods who blessed your shorts, socks, or batting helmet in the first place.