Advanced Essay #1: Superstitious Sundays

With this paper I wanted people to see something that goes on constantly in my life. To provide an in depth look to me. I succeeded in making my story a serious but funny piece while focusing on a common practice in human behavior. I wish I could have improved on expanding my pre game rituals and introducing game time rituals.

Superstitious behavior is a common practice; it is practiced by people who are desperate.  People make sacrifices hoping for a specific outcome. Superstitions can be practiced in infinite number of forms from sitting in a lucky chair to snapping your fingers every five seconds. Many U.S citizens claim to not participate in superstitious behavior.  Nevertheless, some people, like me, take it to the extreme and do ridiculous things hoping to control the outcome of events beyond our control.  We are caught in an endless web of superstitious behavior.

Superstition behavior is tough to stop once engaged in; it is addictive. Although I am conscious of my superstitious behavior, I can not stop.  For example, before a baseball game, I can’t step on the foul line. It may bring bad luck. Before a game, I can’t watch a TV all day.  Another pre-game superstition is I can not tie my shoes. These superstitions interfere with my daily life. None-the-less, there is no way, shape or form my pre-game baseball superstitions are as intense or entrenched as my Sunday Steelers football game superstitions.

On Steeler football Sundays, I wake up, tired, from whatever I did the previous night, excited and frightened. I am frightened that the Steelers may lose. I am excited for another Steeler win. You don’t want to be near me when the Steelers lose. So, in order to not contribute to  a loss, I go through some pretty odd practices to help them win. When I execute my pre-game and during game rituals, the Steelers often do better.

I begin by checking the time, reaching with my hand across my bed to see how much time I have to prepare. Next, I sit on my phone for roughly ten minutes, always checking my Bleacher Report Team Stream app. I like to see the games’ inactive players. I usually get disappointed.  Today, for example,  I was infuriated by the Steelers choosing to not play Sammie Coates, our third round selection. Then, I roll out of bed, take a shower and put my music on shuffle. In the shower, I brush my teeth but don’t wash my hair Sundays. Obviously, slightly greased and ruffled hair is needed for total focus on the game.

After showering, I proceed to get dressed, but never, EVER in Steelers gear on Sundays. This one is critical. The Steelers seem to play worse when I put on their clothing, so my Steeler shirts, hoodie and hats stay in my drawers or hang on a shelf. Next, I exercise a bit, just so I don’t fall behind because on Sundays I eat fairly poorly. Then, I have a conversation with Luke, my twin brother, strictly concerning football.  Breakfast awaits and if breakfast is botched I can become a little crazy.

Breakfast starts with a bowl of any cereal but most likely plain cheerios. One thing that is crucial here is my lucky Steelers bowl. Until the ending of the game, all food must be consumed on my Steelers decade old plate or bowl. I eat my cereal, and cook two eggs on an English muffin. I add one squirt of ketchup and savor a one heck of a breakfast until about 10:30 A.M. Mid morning is time for NFL Gameday Morning.  While the talking head commentators are previewing the Sunday football rosters, I am researching stats and predictions for the game.  This is one of the few time during the week when I enjoy facts and figures - math - and delve into computation.

Madden football comes next. Playing the actual opponent whom the Steelers will play later in the day is a tradition. I set it to realistic 15 minute quarters to ensure I remain channel the game. Playing is for enjoyment but also to get ready for the game. I win, obviously; Madden isn’t something I play often but I am a stud. It is less than two hours of virtual game time but I run plays via my controller and through my head. To think I am predicting the game is a frightening feeling so I drink the traditional sport drink, gatorade, and prepare for the afternoon pigskin match-up.

Although the morning has been full and I faithfully follow my pre-game routine, waiting until 1:00 pm is arduous. To fill time and get into our football mindset, my brothers and I watch FOX NFL Sunday. We loved the days when Frank Caliendo would make amazing impressions of athletes or celebrities. Rob Riggle is fine too but we enjoy the commentary and make our own predictions for the weeks biggest games and also an upset and a wild card. During the FOX commercials we tune into James Brown’s CBS football preview with Bill Cowher, Dan Marino and others. It’s a bit less entertaining but the predictions are the best.

You see,  my superstitions completely dictates my schedule; they consumes my day and I continue to follow my pre game rituals with a passion and a reverence for the Steelers. Superstitious behavior, in my eyes, is had involved in today’s victory. We, the Steelers and I,  won 43-18.  The game was a blowout and I’m beyond thrilled that I feel like I helped! Superstitious behavior is followed because we want something, or we’re desperate. I am desperate for the win like millions of others who practice superstitious behavior because it’s a lifestyle. For U.S. football fans, my superstitious behaviors and routines will never vanish.  When the Steelers win, I’m on a high.  Their win is not just for stats or fame; they are for the high of feeling part of something successful. These are my pre-game superstitious behaviors; there are also during game rituals.

Superstition is built on one thing -  cause and effect. What I do before and during a game will affect what will play out during the game. It’s a battle with my mind and out of desperation. We are willing to sacrifice and do many things to support our team. Nevertheless, superstition is an odd.  Why does whether or not I wash my hair, wear certain clothes, watch particular sports programs or check stats matter?  Who am I fooling?  Unfortunately, I will not change because I am afraid if I don’t follow the superstitious routines I may think I contribute to a Steelers loss.  Once a person participates in superstitious behavior, they are caught in its trap.  I am locked in a web of Sunday superstition.