Left foot, right foot, Snickers and Skittles — superstitions abound with Grey Cup teams

Left foot, right foot, Snickers and Skittles — superstitions abound with Grey Cup teams

CALGARY — Football players prefer to call them pre-game rituals rather than superstitions, but some Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats players are particular about what they do in the hours before kickoff.

The ‘rituals’ can be quirky.

“I just eat a Snickers before every game and tie my left shoe before I tie my right shoe,” Hamilton receiver Brandon Banks, the CFL’s most outstanding player, said as his team prepared for Sunday’s Grey Cup against Winnipeg.

“Actually that’s weird to hear him say that because I’m a Skittles guy,” Ticats quarterback Dane Evans chimed in.

“And I always do my right shoe before my left shoe and I gotta put my pants on like immediately after the tights so it’s tights, pants, shoes and then everything else follows.”

Others could be considered absurd.

“Previously I used to have these underwear that my ex-wife used to give me. It was lucky underwear. They’re not lucky anymore,” deadpanned Ticats cornerback Delvin Breaux.

“What I like to do with my shoes — I always have to have (wrap the laces) at least two or three times around before I actually loop it. It has to be that. If it ain’t that. It ain’t right.”

Some others are sentimental.

Blue Bombers running back and CFL rushing leader Andrew Harris starts his pre-game checklist at least three hours before kickoff.

Before kickoff, No. 33 also says a prayer on the 33-yard line for his late friend and junior football teammate Aaron Niedergesaess, who died in a car crash in 2008.

“That’s something I definitely do every game,” Harris said.

“I used to wear No. 20 when I was in junior and then I switched my number to 33 after he passed away. That was his number and I’ve been wearing it ever since.”

Harris said he will also have his legs massaged before a 45-minute stretch, followed by a half hour of quiet time during which he’ll close his eyes and visualize the game.

Harris then chats with teammates as they trickle into the locker room. His equipment goes on and his ankles get taped followed by another few minutes of introspection.

“A lot of relaxing,” Harris said. “For me, I like to be nice and calm before the game. That’s why I like to get there early and not get rushed.”

He wants to be the first player to return to the locker room after warmup, so he’ll have time to tweak his equipment.

“I’m very particular about my feet,” Harris explained. “I’ll put my cleats on and if my socks don’t feel right then I’ll change my socks out.

“If my feet don’t feel 100 per cent, that’s one thing I’m kind of finicky about.

“My ankles get taped so if my ankle doesn’t feel right when I go run out, sometimes I’ll get an ankle taped three different times to make sure it’s right. That’s maybe a little bit of a superstition.”

His Bomber teammate Nic Demski arranges his gear in his locker before a game, and dresses his left side before his right.

“I know some people who wear the same underwear and eat the exact same meal. I’m nothing like that,” the receiver said.

“I make sure all my apparel, everything I’m going to be wearing in the game is all hung up in my locker. Make sure my pants are good to go, which cleats I’m going to wear.

“I just like to organize my locker so I don’t have to worry about it. Everything is smooth.”

Bombers defensive end Willie Jefferson, winner of the CFL’s defensive player-of-the-year award Thursday, says he calls his wife Holly and daughter Kelley before taking the field.

“Before I come out and do my little walkthrough and things like that, before coach gives his breakdown and everybody starts to meet and everything, I call my wife and my daughter and we pray real quick,” Jefferson said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer teacher Janelle Van Tetering had her students write letters to attach to Blankets of Hope, which will be donated to the Mustard Seed. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer teacher, students donate ‘Blankets of Hope’ to those in need

A Red Deer teacher and her students are giving warm blankets and… Continue reading

RCMP have charged a Sylvan Lake man for allegedly defrauding five people of more than $100,000.
Advocate file photo
20-year-old woman killed in collision: Blackfalds RCMP

A 20-year-old woman was killed in a collision on Saturday, says Blackfalds… Continue reading

Patrick Malkin, co-owner of The Granary Kitchen, says he wants the provincial government to lift COVID-19 restrictions that shutdown in-person dining. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer restaurant owner ‘frustrated’ in-person dining restrictions are still in place

Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced the restrictions won’t yet be eased this past Thursday

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta identifies 573 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths on Saturday

There are currently 9,727 active cases of the virus in the province

A firetruck sits in front of a home on Harvey Close in Red Deer Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Firefighters respond to Red Deer fire

Red Deer firefighters responded to a blaze in the north part of… Continue reading

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

OTTAWA — Under fluorescent lights, Wendy Muckle surveys the supervised consumption site… Continue reading

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) headquarters Connaught Building is pictured in Ottawa on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. nbsp; THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Taxpayers’ watchdog sees complaints spike, raising worries about pandemic tax season

OTTAWA — Canada’s taxpayers’ ombudsperson says his office has seen a steep… Continue reading

Wet'suwet'en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

Tensions had reached a boiling point over a natural gas pipeline in… Continue reading

An Uber driver's vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

VANCOUVER — Several Metro Vancouver taxi companies have lost a court bid… Continue reading

Lights on an internet switch illuminate a network cable in an office in Ottawa, Thursday, February 10, 2011. A Federal Court is ordering Canada's internet service providers to block websites for a company that's offering pirated television streaming online. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Deeply disturbing:’ Nunavut internet still slower, more costly than rest of country

IQALUIT, Nunavut — In Nunavut, it’s not unusual for the internet to… Continue reading

RCMP say missing teen Hope Tivendale has been found. (File photo by Advocate staff)
No foul play suspected after burned body of homeless person found in North Vancouver

VANCOUVER — A burned body, believed to be of a homeless person,… Continue reading

The central zone experienced a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases Thursday, rising from 454 to 508 active cases over the past 24 hours, with 10 people in hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Spartan Bioscience says Health Canada has approved its rapid COVID-19 test

TORONTO — An Ottawa company says it’s received approval from Health Canada… Continue reading

Most Read