By Jes Hovanes
Head coach Paul Eberhardt may not carry a rabbit’s foot or knock on wood, but he does think his extensive collection of neckties has played a role in the Falcons’ impressive season start. The men’s basketball team is currently boasting a 9-2 record for the season.
To some sports superstitions may seem silly, hokey, or kind of obsessive. Rituals are ridiculed in movies and on TV, but athletes and coaches still have them and that’s because they believe they work.
Eberhardt has about 30 different neckties. He said his ties featuring Elvis, Michael Jordan, and the Pillsbury Doughboy helped the Falcons win the national championship last year.
“I keep track of which ties win and which ties lose. So, if I’m wearing a tie and we lose, I move it out of the rotation and move a different tie in,” he said.
Some work better than others and Eberhardt has a number of different Elvis ties he says grant various amounts of luck.
“I find that the older fatter Elvis is more lucky for me than when I wear my younger skinnier Elvis ties,” said Eberhardt.
Langara players agree that rituals help them win games.
Bronte Stark of the women’s basketball team has to wear pink shoes and a ribbon in her hair when she plays a big game.
“If I forget my shoes or my ribbon then I won’t have a good game,” she said.
Stark has been wearing pink shoes and ribbons since she was in high school and she knows they don’t actually affect her ability.
“I feel like it’s like a placebo effect,” she said, “I think that it’s gonna work, so it works.”
Stuart Wallensteen of the men’s basketball team said he would feel weird if he did not have a nap before a big game, although he doesn’t think napping is a superstition. It’s just a part of his routine.
“People do [the ritual] so much that if they don’t do it, it messes with them mentally,” he said.
The Falcons’ will do whatever it takes to keep their head in the game, pink shoes and all.