Jordan never hit the court without his UNC trunks under his Bulls uniform. And Boggs ate chicken before every game. MF explains why your favorite pro athletes practice the superstitious rituals they do.
No-hitters are rare, special moments in the baseball world, and the lead-up to them can push even the most rational players toward bizarre behavior and blatant superstition. Normally, it takes until the middle innings for things to get tense, and a little strange, and both teams are compliant in their own way. Pitchers are usually ignored and are expected to sit in the same spot on the bench when they’re not out on the mound. By the eighth inning, most of them are probably wound pretty tight, but it’s just because teammates don’t want to jinx them – if they talk to their pitcher about the no-hit bid, it’ll be over, and if they talk about something else, it’ll be too obvious that they’re trying hard to avoid talking about it (isolation is the key to success, right?). The other team pitches in by manning up and avoiding cheap bunt hits, even when the situation seems conducive to a bunt single (ex: speedy hitter with bunting skills against a deep infield alignment with runners on base in a close game). Fans can come up with their own superstitions, but announcers also have a choice to make – should they mention the obvious or give in to superstitions and avoid uttering the phrase ‘no hitter’ (or God forbid, ‘perfect game’)? Angels’ broadcaster Victor Rojas never mentioned that Jered Weaver was tossing a no-hitter in 2012 until he actually completed it, reigniting the debate about the media’s place in this baseball phenomenon.