One doesn’t think of superstition when thinking about Thanksgiving. Rather, one thinks of family coming together, out of the cold, on this late autumn holiday. They think of a table so packed with platters of food that there is hardly enough room to lay down your glass of sweet, sweet bourbon. One thinks, too, of objectionable uncles, nagging mothers, and not-yet-properly-formed babies. But one does not think of superstition.
Thanksgiving is also a day of great consequence in the sporting calendar and, in this guise, it becomes one rife with superstition.
This, at least, is according to a recent poll conducted by OnePoll for Tipico Sportsbook.
The poll has discovered some fascinating insights into the mind of the sports fan, a unique pathology which leaves reason and logic unabashedly at the door: 62% of American sports fans, for instance, blame themselves if their team loses. To stave off this outcome, 44% listen to the same music ahead of a game, 42% sit at a specific spot on the couch, 42% carry with them a good luck charm, and 50% wear a specific jersey in which to watch their team play. Revoltingly, 38% of fans do not wash this jersey until the end of the season.
These predilections are only intensified on Thanksgiving, for 71% of Americans feel the stakes are even higher when watching the game with friends or family. Unsurprisingly, in a perverse expression of familial comity, 67% revel in antagonizing loved ones who support rival teams.
The poll also revealed some superstations which surround the act of betting. Many of these are already well known. Saying things like “It’s a lock!” or wishing someone “good luck” is a bad omen for just over half of sports bettors. A $50 dollar bill? No thank you, say 43% of bettors.
Most interesting, though, is the fact that while 30% of bettors never bet on their favorite team, a nearly identical 29% of bettors only bet on their favorite team.