Rituals are very important to a star athlete's success. My brother, a sports psychologist, frequently emphasizes getting into specific routines that you can repeat over and over and over to get your body/mind into the right state and optimize performance.
As it turns out, though, some rituals are stranger than others. Take Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, for instance, who has a number of rituals and superstitions that he likes to use prior to NFL games and throughout his day-to-day schedule. If we're of the same mindset — and I have to think that most of us are — the strangest one is pretty clear.
"I'm slightly superstitious. Unless we're playing a night game, I don't eat on game days," Allen told running back Zack Moss on his "Moss Mode" show. "After pregame, I go in and throw up."
Spoiler alert: that's the one that caught my attention, though Allen isn't done listing his strange superstitions yet. Moss laughed and acknowledged that he'd certainly seen Allen perform that "ritual" before, and it's probably one that every member of the Bills is familiar with at this point... how could they not be? Strangely enough, it's not the first time that I'd heard of something like this, though the circumstances were different in the other situation that came to mind.
But I digress. Allen continued with more of the interesting routines that get him ready for the game every week.
"... I've got like seven songs on this playlist and it's all old school, like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis — music just to try to keep me calm," Allen explained. "And then, honestly, the right sock has to be on the right foot. The left sock has to be on the left foot. And then when I tighten my shoulder pads, I have to have six loops left [on each side].
"...I like symmetry, I like being as symmetrical as possible. So again, I've got to have six on this side, six on this side. With my volumes on my TVs, or my radio in the car, it's got to be an even number at all times. Like, if I turn my car off and I accidentally hit the volume button while I'm looking away, I'll have to turn the car back on, make it even, and then turn it back off."
Moss also had some specific routines that he had to go through, though none of them included big band music, perfect symmetry or vomit.
"People don't know, every gameday ever since high school when I started playing running back — I started playing running back my senior year of high school — I always watch Ricky Williams highlights in college and then Marshawn Lynch highlights when he was in Seattle," Moss said. "And those are the only two people I watch every gameday, so it's been maybe six years now. I even did it in college all the way through, so it's crazy that I have to do those things — it's kind of like a ritual, in a sense."
Whatever floats your boat, guys. Moss can worship Beast Mode, and Allen can worship the porcelain god... as long as it results in some Bills wins this season. They'll look to get one in the win column after losing to the Steelers in Week 1.