At the weekend Liverpool lost at home to West Ham for the first time in 52 years, and it was one of the most insipid displays of football I’d seen. It also confirmed to me that my superstition involving pink underwear and not wearing any blue other than jeans on a match day does is not bulletproof. It worked once for a while, but the magic seems to have worn off of late.
While superstitions including my match day attire are not entirely scientific, I can understand some. For example, it being bad luck to walk under a ladder is actually a fairly simple exercise in basic health and safety. If you believe in Karma then being the victim of the unfortunate timing of a bird’s bowel movements, one would hope, does mean some good luck is coming your way.
When I was playing football I always used to get changed in the same way. Compression shorts would be first, then left leg socks, shin pad and boot, followed by the right leg, followed by my number 13 shirt, followed by shorts so I didn’t have to make special effort to tuck my shirt in. (Then followed by tracksuit cause I probably wasn’t starting the game). We achieved varying degrees of success throughout the season, but what this superstition did was impose routine and order which, in turn, can keep your thought processes simple by providing routine. (A bit like why I don’t worry too much anymore about wearing matching socks. Once that little teenie tiny bit of stress is eliminated other more important tasks can be concentrated on). Sometimes that can have a knock on effect to confidence: “I’m gonna go talk to her. What could go wrong? I’m wearing my Pulling Pants!”
The other type of “superstition” I have is not wishing to tempt fate. Keeping with the football examples, in 2005 Liverpool reached the Champions League Final for the first time in 20 years. Excitement had been building for a long time and a few friends had already booked the following day off work in case celebration was required. I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t like the thought that me writing on a piece of paper in Wigan could affect the result of a football match in Istanbul a week later, however irrational that was. Instead I came to agreement with my manager that, should needs require it, I might not be in the office on the day of 26th May. Liverpool won. We celebrated. I bought a stupidly over priced kebab and I wasn’t in work the next day. (Those last two points are not related).
Anyone else have any little superstitions?
What if cars don’t go my way
And its sure to spoil my day?
But in voices loud and clear you say to me;
“Its only superstition
Its only your imagination.”
Only Superstition by Coldplay