Athletes are a strange bunch, sometimes. The average sports season is a long grind, and those guys are basically stuck with the same group of 15-to-55 players (depending on the sport) for almost all of their time. So it’s no wonder that they start to get a little stir-crazy and come up with some strange superstitions over the course of their careers.
Superstitions come in all shapes and sizes, whether it’s a pre-game meal or a preparation ritual. Some of them are pretty standard, like baseball players not stepping on the foul lines when they walk on and off the field or a goalkeeper thanking his posts for being in the right place at the right time to prevent a goal (spoiler alert: the posts never actually move).
The superstitions on this list, however, are anything but ordinary. They range from kind of weird, to freaking gross, all the way to downright bizarre.
John Henderson Wants To Be Slapped
John Henderson was 6’7″ and 335-pounds of raw defensive tackle. He played ten seasons in the NFL, most of them for the Jacksonville Jaguars before a brief stay with the Oakland Raiders before he retired in 2011. By all accounts, Henderson was not a man you would want to start a fight with. And yet, before every single game of his career, he would ask — or demand — that an assistant trainer give him a big ol’ open hand slap across the face. He claimed that the sudden jolt of adrenaline provided by the slap was everything he needed to get psyched up for the game.