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By George Sullivan

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Additional resources for Don't Step on the Foul Line: Sports Superstition

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All-Pro defensive tackle Jack Youngblood of the Los Angeles Rams always chewed five pieces of gum during a game. "No more, no less, always five," he said. · Charlie Waters, a defensive back for the Dallas Cowboys, was known to have a helmetful of superstitious practices. Asked to name them, he'd reply, "My biggest superstition is that I don't tell what my superstitions are. " Time Killer Mike Hargrove, a first baseman with the Cleveland Indians, used to drive opposing teams crazy with the long ritual he went through every time he came to the plate.

Coaches can be, too. Take for example, Chrisfor ChristineWeller, who, in 1999, began her twenty-fifth season as head coach of women's basketball at the University of Maryland. It seems that during the 19841985 season, the Terrapins finished with a losing recordand no player was wearing No. 12. This bothered Coach Weller. As soon as she restored a No. 12 to the lineup, the Terps resumed their winning ways. During games, fans who watch are aware of some of her other superstitions. For good luck, she'll often tap her knuckles against her head three times and then knock on the floor three times.

Then one day he accidentally stepped on a line, and nothing bad happened to him. That led to a different routine. On the opening day of each season, when the Page 12 players were being introduced to the fans, Porter made it a point to mash the foul line with both feet. Blighted Bus Late one May night in 1992, after the final game of a three-game series against the Yankees in New York, the California Angels boarded a pair of buses for the three-hour ride south to Baltimore, where they were to play the Orioles the next day.

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