Athletes are creatures of habit. Whether it’s Dwight Howard singing “Single Ladies” on the free throw line, or Bryce Harper showering seven times a day, or senior sprint football linebacker Quinn Karam wearing the same upper body garment (I don’t think it qualifies as a shirt anymore) under his pads for every game for seven years, most athletes tightly clutch these insane superstitions or routines and swear they are essential for peak performance.
One of the most ubiquitous of these routines is the pregame playlist.
I didn’t love football immediately. I played tackle football for the first time in eighth grade on a team of 16 players and decided I wanted to play quarterback the day before my first practice. My coaches let me because I could remember all the plays, and I didn’t mind touching the center’s butt before every play — quite a consideration for 13 year olds.
For some reason, we have a much higher tolerance for this upsets and chaos in March Madness than in any other major sport — or, really, in most other aspects of life. This naturally leads us to two questions. The first of which is, of course, why? The second is: is this underdog affinity is good, bad, or indifferent?
“At 5-foot-9 and 168 lbs, Zack DiGregorio is just slightly smaller than the average adult man, but is over 42 percent more likely to spill on himself when drinking water from a cup. This number increases to nearly 68 percent when other people are present.”
These conversations did, however, make me think about how finite my own athletic career is, and what I want to make of it. As everyone reminded me when talking about sports, “it goes fast” and “you only get so many games.”
“Safety School! Safety School! Safety School!”
The year is 2007. I am a brazen and beautifully snarky middle school student sitting with a group of 10 friends at Jadwin Gym for a Princeton-Penn men’s basketball game.