Superstitions keep team on the right foot
September 22, 2008 11:42 PM
It is a chilly September morning at Cox Stadium. The field is watered and cut. The baselines are getting re-painted and the day’s programs are being prepared for distribution.
But just hours before a game is to take place, the players who will be participating don’t show their concern about their upcoming opponent by studying film. Instead, some players do things like making sure a certain box of cereal hasn’t run out, or a certain piece of equipment is placed on at the absolute right moment.
Throughout the sports world, whether it is high school, college or the pros, it’s athletes who perform rituals, routines and superstitions.
They will go to extreme lengths to ensure good luck and victory.
The SF State men and women’s soccer teams are no different.
For women’s team captain Morgan Davison, who wakes up no later than 9:45 a.m. on game day, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is also one of the meals that has been consistent before every home game; consisting of a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheat’s topped with brown sugar and, of course, 2 percent milk.
“I feed off of the cereal,” she said. “It gives me an extra kick before going out.”
Whether the crunchy little squares have led to more victories or individual accolades can be disputed, but Davison knows one mishap can dictate what kind of performance it’s going to be.
“If something went wrong in the routine, it can throw me completely off,” she said.
Davison is not alone. Several Gators also possess some interesting behavior, like practicing good dental hygiene.
“Brushing my teeth,” midfielder Michelle Mason said. “It has to be done.”
However, not everyone feels the same way.
Glass said he thinks of his pre-game preparations to be normal, not so much a ritual.
“I’m usually the first to be in the training room and I do carry my shin guards, not wearing them during practice,” he said. “But it’s not something that is planned.”
Nevertheless, it is Davison, who is known throughout the women’s team for having a peculiar way of preparing for a game.
“There are some girls who have a certain niche they like, like a certain drink or food, but Morgan, she is very superstitious,” teammate Carly Bliss said. “She takes it up a notch.”
And that’s no joke.
After exiting her apartment, Davison makes a quick getaway to the Subway on campus, orders a 6-inch turkey and ham sandwich and a Rockstar energy drink before catching the first half of the men’s soccer game. Later, she goes to the team room, handing out a few quotes to her teammates to read while listening to the “pre-game warm up mix” on her iPod, featuring artist from Fort Minor to R. Kelly along with the team’s favorite, Pink’s “So What?”
“It has worked so I think I’m going to continue to stick with that for now on,” she said.
As the clock ticks to game time, Davison leaves the locker room, tapping the top of the door for good luck. Once on the field, she puts on her socks, but not her shin guards, at least not until the ref blows the whistle, before finally chewing on a vanilla crisp PowerBar.
So how long is she going to keep this up?
“Probably, as long as I keep playing, and we get more wins,” she said.
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