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Do Sports Rituals Work?
Topics: Sports
Tags: Sports

PRRI’s latest poll, which examines whether people believe the supernatural is at play in sports, finds that roughly 1-in-5 (21 percent) sports fans say they perform some ritual before or while watching their favorite team. Male sports fans are more likely than their female counterparts to report engaging in a ritual before or while watching their favorite team (25 percent vs. 17 percent), and football fans are more likely than fans of other sports to perform such rituals (25 percent vs. 18 percent).

Roughly two-thirds (66 percent) of rituals center around wearing team jerseys or clothing with the team’s colors. When asked to explain their rituals in their own words, some fans admitted to getting creative in their apparel choices: one fan reports putting “a dirty pair of underwear…over my pants and then I put my jersey on.”

Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of sports fans who have rituals choose one involving some type of activity, such as dancing in a circle, sitting in the same seat or giving a pep talk to the television. Some fans describe their activity in great detail: one reports that he takes all of the money out of his wallet and puts it in the right-hand pocket of his pants before every game.

Do you have any favorite pre-game or game-time rituals? If so, let us know! And for more on whether the supernatural is at play in sports, be sure to check out our full report available here.