It’s draft day. All your research is completed and a myriad of potential scenarios as to how things will pan out are currently running through your mind. Everything you know about fantasy football will soon be put to the test. You are anxious as the draft order is about to be picked. “Number one, number one, number one” reverberates in your head as you try to will your name to be chosen first. The piece of paper is drawn from the hat and you concentrate harder. Meanwhile, as every second passes, you have come ever closer to completely rubbing Eisenhower’s face off of your lucky silver dollar.
MSN-Encarta’s online dictionary defines superstition as “an irrational, but usually deep-seated belief in the magical effects of a specific action or ritual, especially in the likelihood that good or bad luck will result from performing it.” Whether based on folklore, tradition or personal experience, if you are playing fantasy sports chances are that you possess some sort of lucky rabbit’s foot.
Television sports anchors are discussing the beginning of training camp and the offseason changes made by our favorite teams. Store magazine racks are cluttered with publications dedicated to those of us who are addicted to the phenomenon of fantasy football, and I just found out the date of my league’s draft. It was then that I started to contemplate my own superstitions and wondered how many others have them as well.
Most of the fanatics I know have some sort of ritual that they rely on, whether for the draft or for the actual season. Most of the popular ones are lucky charms, coins, icons, clover and religious medals, to include one person who makes sure that he eats a bowl of that cereal on the morning of his draft. Numerous team owners have a specific player’s jersey that they must wear that day. If the draft is on a Sunday, many will make sure they attend church that morning.
Some of the answers that I came across were what inspired me to share their stories: believe it or not, the tale about the cereal is not that unique. Many that I spoke with have certain foods that they have to eat the day of their draft. Some even go as far as they have to stop at a specific restaurant. If this is part of your routine, you may, as one man experienced, feel utter doom when the diner closes for business a week before your draft. One person I know has to have the sports cards representing all the members of his team. They all get put into a special case and are kept next to the cable box. It only gets moved in the event he has to swap a player, but immediately gets put back in its place. Finally, one person I questioned is very ominous about their chances that year if their draft happens to be held on the same day as a full moon.
In closing, even with a time-tested ritual, the best luck really comes from your own preparation. Be more attentive to the alignment of the stars on the field, as opposed to the ones in the sky. Ask yourself: how lucky was that foot for the rabbit? And in case you need to know, the last full moon, before the NFL season starts is Tuesday, August 24.