Earlier this week, Dawg Sports had a post asking their readers about gameday superstitions. Today, we want to pose the same question. Are you superstitious? If so, what superstitions do you have that are related to the Gamecocks?
I am not superstitious. The only tradition I tend to maintain is wearing this ridiculous giant rooster face shirt on gamedays, but only if it's clean. I also like to watch games in solitude so I can act adequately idiotic when good/bad things happen. Beyond that? I let things play out as they will and try not to attach any sort of cosmic meaning to the way I absorb the action.
Until pondering this question, I never really considered myself a ‘superstitious' person; this is wrong. I am a deeply and strangely superstitious person. There are a few things I do that are just things I prefer to do on Gameday.
Taking my long run on Saturday (versus the usual Sunday) to allow for appropriate Whiskey consumption.
Electing to not follow a game that I cannot watch live until I can watch it in its entirety on DVR.
Never betting more than $100 making predictions about the outcome of any Carolina sporting event.
Never eating at Rush's before kickoff. (I have great season tickets with free food, this is common-sense)
However, there is one thing that stood out in my mind as particularly weird. I've been hiding this secret for a long time now, and it's time that the world knows what I've been up to...
For whatever reason, I do not wear a shirt again after being in attendance when we lose said game. No matter the sport. Home/Away. *note* This practice does not count for games watched on TV, yet.
This whole thing came about by virtue of just being an average forgetful college student, in 2004, after wearing the same shirt, stupidly, to both the Ole Miss and Tennessee games. Each game featured equally poor showings on defense, and both were crushing defeats for that team in their own way. I bought a new shirt for the Arkansas game (because as a College Sophomore I had forgotten to pack a Gameday appropriate shirt) at the Addam's Mark the evening before the game and proclaimed that the shirt would have magical luck-producing powers (thanks Wild Turkey 101 & Ginger Ale). The next day, the Gamecocks managed a fascinatingly weird victory over a talented but sloppy Arkansas squad. True to form, I somehow wore the UNLUCKY shirt AGAIN for the Clemson game. I need not remind anyone what happened on that fateful November afternoon. I immediately realized what I'd done, and blamed the second-worst Clemson game I've ever been to on the fact that I wore that stupid damn shirt again. Since then, I have had a very strict policy of purchasing and wearing a new shirt after a loss.
This policy has had a success rate of nearly 90% until it had absolutely ZERO positive effect this year, despite bringing in new shirts FIVE DIFFERENT TIMES.
I blame my wardrobe...
Maybe next time I will buy one of Jorge's Rooster shirts.
I truly admire people that can take their fandom to the level where they make choices about their own lives in hopes of impacting the game. Since I live far away from South Carolina, I've resigned myself to the fact that I really can't impact whether we win or lose, at least on the day of the game, despite how much I wish I could.
However, I cling tightly to the superstition that, when I am present for a game, that fanatical yelling, cheering, and derision of the opposition can and will propel us to victory. It's a superstition I take incredibly seriously.
I was a lot more superstitious ten years ago than I am today. I've probably just accepted the fact that my quirky actions have no bearing on the outcome of a college game held in the hands of teenagers.
So, I'll take this time to give a shout out to my boy Ethan and a superstition that I unfortunately now know way too much about. Bear with me, and avoid judging our friendship, as it involves a pair of underwear. Now I don't know about y'all, but I don't have the same underwear I had eight years ago. And, I'm not upset about that. But Ethan does. It's a grey pair with orange football players scattered across. I was initially confused how grey and orange boxer briefs help us out, until he said, "the only place I wear Clemson colors is on my unmentionables." It makes sense. I guess. I'm sure this superstition has been through way more wear and tear then anyone of us wishes to know, but I have to give my man props as he has sustained it through the thick and thin that is South Carolina athletics. The exact origin of his superstition is unclear, but he thinks it began during the glory days of his high school basketball career, wearing the boxers for his own game days. I guess a few clutch three pointers came as a result of this as he now wears them for every Gamecock athletic event he's in attendance.
I've been known to change my shirt if things are going poorly or wear the same clothes for every game if they're going well (this may or may not have happened during the 2010 and 2011 CWS wins), but that's about as far as my superstitiousness goes.
I tried for a long time to deny it, but I am very superstitious. You know that Bud Light commercial that says it's only weird if it doesn't work? I could be in one of those. I honestly have too many small superstitions to list here, so I'll just mention a couple. Like DC3 and Katie, I have a thing about what shirts I wear. That superstition is mostly limited to football, although it also came into play during each of our CWS runs. If we lose in a shirt, it's done for the season. I don't care if it's my favorite shirt or if it's brand new and that's the first time I've worn it, I'm not wearing it on another game day. During the 2012 CWS we lost the game where I didn't wear my Fear the Fish shirt. I wore it for the rest of the week and we made it to the championship series.
Probably the weirdest thing I've gotten really superstitious about was something that spanned my entire undergrad career at USC. I didn't miss any home football games while I was a student, but of course on away weekends I sometimes went to visit my family or friends somewhere else. We lost every game that I watched somewhere other than Columbia while I was in school. Every single one. The only game we won while I wasn't in Columbia was a game that I didn't watch because I had something else going on. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this until my senior year when I was sitting at my grandpa's house watching Florida demolish us in the Swamp. I may or may not have changed my weekend plans for the Clemson game to make sure I was in Columbia. I also may or may not actually be insane. I blame sports.