What an athlete does before the game can ultimately determine the outcome of it.  Most athletes follow some sort of pre-game routine, whether it is eating a full protein-filled meal the night before the game or getting in a good workout before beginning play.  But some athletes really take it to the next level.  Some have superstitions so strong that they believe failing to follow a precise routine will actually throw off their performance.  There are some pretty wild and entertaining pre-game rituals and superstitions out there, and in this article you’ll learn about the 10 most interesting of them all.

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2009 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award winner and now NBA Champion Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks always wears his upcoming opponent’s team shorts to bed every night before the game.  If he plays the Clippers tomorrow night, you can bet he’ll be hitting the hay in Clipper red and white.  Maybe this is why Terry finally won a ring this year…or was it the tattoo?

Brian Urlacher, the seven time pro-bowl middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears has a unique routine of his own.  He simply eats two cookies before every game, no more no less.  And they have to be Girl Scout cookies.  Pretty interesting, you’d think he’d have a little more flab on that rock-hard frame.

Two-time National Hockey League Most Valuable Player Alexander Ovechkin has one of the strangest routines of them all.  It may not exactly be politically correct to discuss this one, but I just can’t leave it out.  Ovechkin has publicly stated that before and after every game, he likes to have sex.  Yeah, I said it.

English Premier League soccer player John Terry of Chelsea has a couple superstitions that are definitely unique.  According to his teammate Frank Lampard, Terry has to urinate in the furthest right hand side urinal before every game.  He also sits in the same seat on the team bus, listens to the same music, and parks his car in the same spot in the team parking lot every time.  He hasn’t come out and given a reason for this madness, but we’ll just pretend like there is a good one.

Former Red Sox, Yankee and Devil Rays player Wade Boggs had a routine that seems pretty unimaginable.  Before each and every game throughout his entire career, he would eat chicken.  At 2,440 total games played, that’s a lot of chicken!  No wonder his teammates always called him the “chicken man.”  How the heck can someone eat that much chicken and not get sick of it?

I couldn’t not include a little bit about the greatest NBA player ever.  Yeah, that’s Michael Jordan in case you were wondering.  MJ had a ritual of wearing his alma mater’s team shorts during every game.  He attended the University of North Carolina, so every game, underneath his Chicago Bulls shorts he had on Tar Heel shorts.  To do this he actually had to request longer shorts, which he was obviously granted by the team.  He was one of the first players to start wearing longer shorts and is considered to be one of the pioneers of the “long shorts” movement of the NBA.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 2008 World Soccer Player of the Year, has a pre-game routine that puts him apart from any other soccer player in the world.  Before every single game he gets his haircut right before going to the stadium.  His logic is that he is afraid of “jinxing his scoring run.”  Well, at seven goals scored in six games this year for Real Madrid in the Spanish Primera Division, it seems he may be wise in continuing his streak of pre-game haircuts.

Tennis great Serena Williams also shares a little bit of quirk with these athletes.  She’ll often wear the same pair of socks from the first round of a tournament all the way through to the end of the tournament.  Given her career record of 490-103, maybe there is something good about smelly socks.  However, I’m not sure I would want to be near her on the second weekend of Wimbedon.

Ever been so out of it that you need a slap in the face?  John Henderson of the Oakland Raiders has that feeling before every game.  The veteran defensive tackle likes to get slapped before every game by his trainer.  Apparently it gets him revved up and ready to hit the field.

To me, this one is by far the strangest of all the routines I have seen out of professional athletes, so I saved it for the final spot.  It is a routine done by former MLB star Moises Alou.  Before every game, Alou would intentionally urinate on his hands.  His explanation was that it helped his hands avoid calluses and harden the skin.  Hmm, I’m not sure I would have taken it to that extent, but maybe it worked out for the career .303 hitter.

As you can see, there are some pretty fascinating routines and superstitions out there, from even the best athletes in the world.  Hope you enjoyed!