Getting an edge on your opponent is nothing new in competition. Maybe it’s an extra film session, or a new training program, a guy with a winning mentality will always look to gain an advantage.
During the 2021-2022 NFL season, I've noticed a growing trend on the competitive playing field…Kickers using smelling salts.
Not only is Matt Prater a smelling salts guy, but he’s also a tribal tattoo guy, which seems fitting…Anyway, kickers using smelling salts is just funny. You associate these little sticks of ammonia with a middle linebacker that’s about to take the battle field, not a placekicker that’s about to launch a pigskin into the endzone for a touchback.
The routine isn’t about Prater’s preparations to administer a hit, it’s about the second word in this sentence, his routine.
The smelling salt is just as important as his ability to split the uprights from 50-yards.
Pedro Cerrano couldn’t hit a curveball, so he brought a snake into the clubhouse, a totally normal thing to do when you’re in a hitting slump.
I could have wrote this one on Cerrano alone, but performing ceremonial acts of kindness for Jobu in exchange to receive the capability of hitting the deuce is what we’re talking about here.
It may seem absurd, but ask Eddie Harris what happened when he stole Jobu’s rum…
It’s not just the players though, fans have their own role in the mojo of a team’s fate. In one of the most underrated sports movies of all-time, Mike O’Hara and Jimmy Flaherty coordinated a seat switch to help their boys from Beantown on the court.
They also ended up kidnapping Utah’s best player, Lewis Scott, but that’s a neither here nor there.
Coaches know the signs too. Especially coaches that were former players. To be able to get a read on the opposition that can give your team the upper hand is an immeasurable quality only a former player turned coach can provide.
When Gordon Bombay pulled Greg Goldberg in favor of Julie “The Cat” Gaffney, Gordo knew what he was doing. He’d seen the triple deke before as it was his specialty while playing for the Minnesota Waves. Bombay got a tell off of Gunnar Stahl’s stylish play, which lent itself to glove side…and he was right.
Wolf “The Dentist” Stansson didn’t see the indicators of Stahl succumbing to the pressure of the Junior Goodwill Games, as Gunnar put it, “he lost it for himself.”
Last night my Buffalo Bills called tails, and we lost. That’s the way she goes, sometimes she goes, and sometimes she doesn’t. What can you do?
If Josh Allen has always called tails, then he's gotta carry on that tradition, for better or for worse. Because you're only superstitious the minute you second guess yourself.