March Superstitions

 

Sowing the Seeds

I am a man of facts, numbers and proof. I try to be observant and inquiring, and try always to avoid making judgments without first knowing as much as possible about a situation. I am comfortable with things I can see and/or measure. I hold two degrees from NC State, both of which are based in the hard sciences. It is for these reasons that most people who haven’t known me very long are surprised when they find out that I’m nuts.

When NC State won it’s first national championship in 1974, I was but a wee lad of seven years. I was old enough to remember the game, though that memory becomes more fuzzy with each passing year. I was old enough to feel the tension during the game, and the joy when the final buzzer sounded. I was not, however, old enough to have developed a sense of superstition at that age, nor a sense of self-satisfaction in having helped pull the Pack through a tough battle.

A mere nine years later, that had all changed.

 

Give me Cheez-its or Give me Death

In March of 1983, just when spring was about to spring, I was a 16 year old who thought chiefly about what most 16 year olds think about. I had a steady girlfriend and had only been driving for barely three months. Despite this hormonally stacked deck, on that Friday night in mid-March when the Pack survived a scare against Pepperdine in double OT, I was sitting at home with my father (also an NCSU alum), watching the game from the far right side of our couch, eating Cheez-its and drinking Dr. Pepper. This is significant.

Earlier, the aforementioned girlfriend had been none too happy when I informed her of my intention to stay home on a Friday night and watch a ballgame. I explained to her as best I could that it wasn’t up for discussion because I had no choice in the matter. This did not appease her and when I would not budge, it became a very big issue.

In my defense, she was being unreasonable. She couldn’t understand that I didn’t just want to watch a game. I had a duty to watch the game and do my part to help pull the team to victory. She was unmoved when I explained that I had been in that exact spot on that exact couch for three straight days the previous weekend, eating Cheez-its and drinking Dr. Pepper. It made no difference to her whatsoever when I further explained that if I was not in that spot and we lost, that I’d never be able to live with myself and I’d never be able to live with her. As it turned out, the latter quickly proved to be not so much of a problem.

Even though the proof was in the pudding and I was vindicated when the Pack not only survived Pepperdine that night, but also squeaked past a powerful UNLV squad on a last second tip in two days later, the damage was done. She dumped me to find someone else. Someone “who was sane”, or something like that. I wasn’t really listening. But to this day, whenever the Pack is playing in the postseason, the Dr. Pepper and Cheez-it people love me.

 

Of Like Mind

Over the years I’ve seen lots of different fans practicing lots of different superstitions. Keeping the same seat placement is a big one, as are food and drink choices. Fan attire is right up there too.

The most interesting and entertaining (to me at least) are the ones that are most unique. Usually, these seem to be some sort of hand gesture or body language/positioning at particular junctures of the game itself, especially during free throw attempts by the opposition. Other times, it has to do with a series of tasks, behaviors or even rituals, which must be accomplished before or during the game, lest the basketball gods be displeased.

Now, I know most of you are like me. While our rational and scientifically trained minds tell us that superstitions are exactly that, our hearts know the truth. We have no choice in the matter. We’re all at least a little bit nuts.

So, what are some of your superstitions that you rightfully refuse to abandon, despite your brain’s best efforts?  What are some of the more interesting or outrageous rituals you’ve observed from other fans?

 

**Please be sure to make your way over to the SFN Forums to keep from missing out on some of the best NCSU-centric conversation anywhere on the web.  Also, with all the new and original material hitting the front page here on the main blog, be sure to scroll down and take a look at some of the previous entries to be sure you don’t miss any of the sweet sixteen fun!

About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

General Miscellaneous & Fun Stuff Tradition

47 Responses to March Superstitions

  1. packplantpath 03/21/2012 at 2:53 PM #

    Good stuff.

    Lucky you weren’t drinking white lightning (the soda, not the “other” stuff). Don’t think you can find that anymore.

  2. SqlWolf 03/21/2012 at 3:03 PM #

    You can definitely find the “Other Stuff.” I was up in the mountains near Boone and there was a roadside stand/store (I think south of Blowing Rock) that had some “shine” available for sale. I never saw any of that soda version in my life. Where did one ever buy those?

  3. TheAliasTroll 03/21/2012 at 3:07 PM #

    Golly I was doing stuff like this just this past weekend. Keeping the remote control in one position on the couch. Making sure not to change anything after a Wolfpack run. This makes me feel better. I’m glad that I’m not the only loony toon around here :)

  4. tjfoose1 03/21/2012 at 3:08 PM #

    March superstitions?

    Don’t go to lunch with a friend named Brutus.

  5. statemech 03/21/2012 at 3:18 PM #

    I, too, am a “man of science,” (maybe not quite a man yet, but whatever…) holding a BSME and about year from my MSME. However, just like you, I am terribly superstitious at times.

    I refuse to listen to our basketball games on the radio, because every time I do we fall into a slump. I don’t allow myself to check Twitter or SFN during a game. I have to drink the same number of beers in each half. And I’ve watched every UNX game a particular friend’s apt this year, but went to another friend’s place for the Georgetown game, so there’s no way in Hell that I’m going to the first friend’s place Friday.

    Other non-sports things: I always set my alarm to an odd number or else it sets my day up for potential ruin. I don’t wear any bracelets or any form of jewelery to an exam.

    There are more things, but they fall into the category of “if I tell you they won’t work anymore.” This felt good to get those out there haha

  6. Wufpacker 03/21/2012 at 3:23 PM #

    et tu, foose?

  7. NCStatePride 03/21/2012 at 3:39 PM #

    I am convinced that if we are ahead by more than 10 points with 10 minutes left to go and I utter the phrase “I think we might win”, then we’ll lose. I don’t know if it’s cynicism or superstition, but there it is!

    Great read.

  8. tuckerdorm1983 03/21/2012 at 3:43 PM #

    I am a follower of Socrates and the Socratic method which continues to illuminate the world today. Socrates used observation, reason and logic to arrive at conclusions otherwise known as the scientific method. My point dear fellows is that at some point you engage in your “behaviors” to arrive at a desired outcome and that outcome does not come to fruition. Do you simply ignore the fact that we sometimes lose when you do “it” and sometimes win when you do not do “it”?

    “Live long and prosper”.
    Mr. Spock

    On the other hand I only watch the games in one tv in my house and we have won the last 4 games. I watched the UNC/NCST game at the ACCT at another’s home. Now, because this game will be on so late and others in the house must go to bed, I must watch the game in another room on a smaller tv. If we lose it will be solely because of that unless the rule is that I must watch it at my house and it does not matter what t.v.

    “Its a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart” Ulysses S. McGill from the movie “Oh Brother where art thou”

  9. ncsu_4_life 03/21/2012 at 3:47 PM #

    i have a closet full of NCSU shirts that never get worn on game days because of the Packs recent woes in the win/loss department. If Im wearing a Pack shirt on game day and they lose, I can’t wear it on game days anymore.

    I have an NCSU coaches watch that I havent worn since the first State game in Chapel hole this year. Much to my wife’s chargrin!

  10. wolfpackbball 03/21/2012 at 3:51 PM #

    I have actually been fairly superstition-free for a long time with the Wolfpack. Unwittingly, I began a new superstition for the SDSU game. I pulled a sitting chair out from the wall and placed it way too close to the big screen right in the middle of the living room. Diamond logo hat on, remote and drink in position on the end table.
    Time for the GTown game and what do I have to do? All of the above.
    I’m hoping that the mojo continues Friday night. Best believe I will be back in that same position until it doesn’t work anymore….then I’ll start something new I’m sure.

  11. ncsu_4_life 03/21/2012 at 3:52 PM #

    tucker, just remember we’ll all hold you responsible if you change rooms and tvs. Nothing personal, just sayin! :)

  12. Six Pack 03/21/2012 at 3:56 PM #

    foose,

    I will admit that last week I was really hoping that we did not play on March 15. You know, “beware the Ides of March.” Thank goodness we didn’t play until March 16.

    Oh, I wear the same State t-shirt when I watch them until they lose while I’m wearing it, then I move on to another shirt.

  13. StandUpAndHowl 03/21/2012 at 4:00 PM #

    Superstitions are unlucky! That said, it’s a scientifically proven fact that I must wear an NC State t-shirt all day on game day or we lose. Wearing a State t-shirt does not guarantee a win, but failure to wear one guarantees a loss.

  14. BJD95 03/21/2012 at 4:00 PM #

    In 1983, I (age 9) noticed that my baby sister had fallen asleep in Reynolds during the UNC game. Starting with the UNLV game during the NCAAT, we made sure she was awake for the start of – and fell asleep during – each game (nap or bedtime). That was a tall order for the late tip against Houston, but by God we made it happen.

    B.S., Environmental Engineering (1995)

    As an adult, if I’m watching in a bar, I will stick with or change what I’m drinking, based on how the game is going. I insist on the same from any friends drinking with me. At home, it’s more about whether the clothes or seating location are lucky. In serious enough cases, I will even switch up socks during halftime adjustments.

    I don’t think any of it really matters…BUT WHAT IF IT DOES???

  15. Moose Hunter 03/21/2012 at 4:03 PM #

    Whenever I DVR state games they lose. Hence, I can never DVR a State game again.

  16. Hawkeye Whitney 03/21/2012 at 4:04 PM #

    During the Duke game at Cameron, when we were up 20, my sister who lives in Cary, began texting me about how unbelievable it was that we were going to win. We all know how that turned out. During the second half of the Georgetown game, right before the Hoyas began whittling away at our largest lead, she sent me another optimistic text. I promptly called her and said there would be no more texting between us. And I think I did it just in time. Whew!

  17. Hawkeye Whitney 03/21/2012 at 4:15 PM #

    And honestly, aren’t we all a little afraid of the road black uniforms now?

  18. Wolfpack93 03/21/2012 at 4:21 PM #

    I stand throughout the game, only sitting during commercials.

    Like others, I NEVER voice that we will win before the game is over and I ignore any communication (email, text, calls) until after the game. Sorry SFN, but whenever I read the live blog here during a game, we seem to slack off on the court. =)

    And finally, if I can help it, I never watch the game in a public place — I prefer to be alone or with family/friends who know the frustration levels of being a Pack fan.

  19. chedgeco 03/21/2012 at 4:21 PM #

    Over the course of the season I would stop by my uncles house (who is a UNC fan) and watch the state games. Every game i watched at his house state won, so the last game of the season at VT I went over there they won, watched the first 2 ACC tourney games, the won, missed the UNC game, they lost, and have now watched the the first 2 games of the NCAA tourney and theyve won, so on friday at apprx 10:20 I will be plopping down on his sofa in the same spot to watch state play.

  20. my_adidas 03/21/2012 at 4:25 PM #

    Six pack of bud my state glass n I’m also in the same spot on my couch for every game

  21. MrPlywood 03/21/2012 at 5:12 PM #

    No calls, emails, texts, etc. I did overcome the live-blog jinx the other day. I refrained during the SDSU game because I had not posted during the first half, so I held off until the W. But I posted all during the G’town game.

    And I do find myself uncrossing legs or arms during FTs…

  22. tuckerdorm1983 03/21/2012 at 5:13 PM #

    what comes around goes around. UNC fans are complaining that Rivers travels all the time. Have they never watch the feert of the great God of Basketball Travel Hopsbrough.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi9fMxwglqU

    watch what coach knight says about “the pass comes into 50 and he takes a total of 5 steps”

  23. Hungwolf 03/21/2012 at 5:20 PM #

    Damn it Spock! I’m a State fan not a realist!

  24. tuckerdorm1983 03/21/2012 at 6:26 PM #

    we need a little random chance in our favor Friday night

    Spock: “Random chance seems to have operated in our favor”
    McCoy: “In plain, non-Vulcan English, we’ve been lucky”
    Spock: “I believe I said that, Doctor”

    and of course

    Scott: “Just before they went into warp, I beamed the whole kit and kaboodle into their engine room, where they’ll be no tribble at all.”

  25. ADVENTUROO 03/21/2012 at 6:42 PM #

    NCStatePride,

    In 1983, I started to VHS the ACC Tournament. My son, who was just about to turn 13 would not let me. After we won the ACC Tourney, I started taping the post game celebration and taped just about everything that Channel 11 and Channel 5 and even Channel 4 ran on the pack.

    Later on, I used to be a believer in the 10 & 10 rule. I would comment that we needed to slip Coach Sendek a note (long before texting and cellphones).

    However, JJ Reddick quickly took care of that piece of sage advice.

    We were in Columbus on Sunday, between the halves getting a soda, and my wife commented on how unusual it was for Richard Howell NOT to have any fouls in the first half and I told her that she had just put the “JINX” on him. We all know the rest. When he got his 4th, I told her that I really thought she should go BACK to the lobby and pray to Jimmy V. for forgiveness. She knew I was kidding, but she really felt bad.

    We were actually UP by 11 points in the second half if my memory serves me right, but I don’t remember the time. After the 20 point Dook fiasco, I don’t know if I will ever believe that we have enough points….and maybe that is a good thing.

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