USC Football: Sports Superstitions Deliver Power to Fans


C&G Shades On is a special weekly column from Sara Kakuris, bringing a die-hard USC football fan’s voice and perspective to Reign of Troy. 

Four shots of Fireball – pregame and after the first, second and third quarters. That’s my game time superstition.

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Though my mom “jokes” that of course I would have a superstition that involves sanctioned drinking and though I have absolutely zero proof or pattern that indicates it works, it’s a necessity each and every game, including (entirely hypothetically) in the Coliseum when it’s 110 degrees out and drinking mini bottles of cinnamon liquor is akin to consuming boiling battery acid.

People question how I can consider this an effective superstition when SC has both lost and won games while I’ve enacted the Law of Fireball. Kevin Ryder, morning DJ on KROQ, once had the best argument against sports superstition doubters – that superstitions work and, if a team loses despite your efforts, it’s clear that someone else didn’t do their part. I’m going with that.

Why do fans need superstitions? I think, more than anything, it gives the lovers of the game a sense of control when they truly have none. We don’t get to call the plays. We don’t get to make coaching decisions. We’re, for all intents and purposes, helpless. Our superstitions give us power, aiding us in doing more than sitting in a recliner, watching in horror as an opposing Hail Mary goes flying down the field.

The best players get in on the superstition party as well. We’ve all seen the playoff beards and heard the rumors about not changing underwear or socks (personally, I really hope those ones aren’t true). One of my favorite parts of post-season hockey is watching the players refuse to touch the Stanley Cup before the Final.

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This shows how much strength sports superstitions hold. The players really do have the power and control over the game, but they try to hedge that small bit of remaining fate.

Superstitions are something with which everyone can come together. It’s not a religion of gods, it’s a religion of sports. For some, that higher power is the only one that exists.

As Bud Light stated in their magnificently genius commercials, “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”

True, maybe running around the house counterclockwise with a banana and a lightsaber may look crazy…but if your team makes it to the playoffs while you do it, I bet you’ll be handing out bananas and lightsabers like Halloween candy.

I’m always looking to recruit for the Law of Fireball, so come by Row 93 on game day and I may just have a mini bottle for you…hypothetically, of course.