Is there a more superstitious industry than football?

March 6, 2009

After a foray into the mix zone after the English League Cup final, the injured Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe replied to one journalist who asked him why he had cut all his hair off.

“I had to, I only ever seem to get injured when I have longer hair,” he said.

I am neither a hairdresser nor a medical man but I thought this was a bizarre theory, but perhaps a lengthy spell on the sidelines makes you think this way?

Defoe’s superstition was the second recent football oddity to have grabbed my attention after Arsenal’s Kolo Toure received an unnecessary yellow card in the Champions League tie against Roma.

The Ivory Coast defender failed to ask the referee for permission to enter the pitch after missing the kick-off at the start of the second half.

Toure’s delayed entrance was because he waited for team mate William Gallas to finish receiving treatment so he could maintain his routine of being the last man to leave the dressing room.

Despite this odd behaviour from the two Premier League players, my favourite football superstition remains Laurent Blanc’s serial smooching of goalkeeper Fabien Barthez’s head prior to each match in France’s victorious 1998 World Cup run.

Unless you can come up with another to change my mind?

PHOTO: Tottenham Hotspur’s Jermain Defoe celebrates scoring against Portsmouth during their English Premier League match at White Hart Lane in London Jan. 18, 2009. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty


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Football journalists can be superstitious too. I know of one who always wears odd socks when covering a big match.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

American Baseball is very superstitious. It may be the most of all sports.

Posted by Nate | Report as abusive

Really Nate, examples please?

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

I think the Defoe hair length/injury correlation theory is my new favourite!

[...] are prevalent amongst athletes everywhere in the world.  When Tottenham striker Jermaine Defoe replied to a journalist asking about a particularly short haircut by noting “I had to, I only ever seem to get injured [...]