USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘Pregame Ritual’
Customs
Foodways
Material

Noodles and Ketchup Before Games

Abstract:

This piece is a ritual of eating noodles and ketchup before every baseball game.

Main Piece:

“S: Okay so baseball superstitions, there’s a lot. And even for me personally. When I was younger, before every baseball game since I was probably 9, which is like 8, 9 years of my life after this, the meal I had before was noodles and ketchup.

C: Noodles and ketchup? Is this just you? Like did you choose this?

S: People eat noodles and ketchup. But like to me… it was like a little bit of vinegar and carbs. The carbs to give me energy. So I would have the carbs and that would be great. And I would have that beore every game. My mom would cook that before every game. She is stoked with noodles because she knew… And like three games a week, it was noodles before every game. Even if it was in the morning.

C: Was that like… like did you enjoy eating it? Or was it like something you had to do?

S: No, I enjoyed eating it.

C: I’ve never heard of that before.

S: I never eat it outside of that. It’s like attached to baseball for me. And I ate it so much.

C: Wait, ketchup right?

S: Yeah ketchup, butter, and noodles.

C: I can’t imagine those together.

S: It’s really good. You should try it.”

Context:

The informant is a 20 year old from Arkansas who has played baseball for most of his life. When he started playing baseball at 9 years old, this food custom began and he has eaten this particular meal before every game, for good luck. His mom is the one who first introduced the noodles and ketchup to him.

Analysis:

I think eating noodles and ketchup is more of a good luck charm than anything else. Though it has a link to baseball, it seems that it’s most important role is to bring good luck before the game and eating the meal will insure that in the mind of the informant. It makes me think of the Spanish ritual of eating 12 grapes at the New Years to insure good luck and well being for the coming year. That is the same type of food related tradition of eating something before an event to insure good luck.

Digital

The Godfather of the NBA

This entry was given to the interviewer through digital means. The interviewer asked the informant, Sahit, about any superstitions in the NBA he knows because of Sahit’s die-hard obsession to the sport. He replied with a postseason ritual that he knows Lebron James does.

 

“So every year that Lebron makes it to the playoffs, which is really often, he has a series of requirements that he forces himself to meet in order to get him into that killer mindset. And it all involves the Godfather movies. Lebron watches the entire franchise end to end and he must be alone as he does it. After that, he’ll read a physical copy of the original book while he works out and prepares to be in playoff shape. He’ll also start to treat his team dynamic in similar ways to the dynamics presented in the movie. It’s all some pretty intense stuff.”


The interviewer keeps up with the NBA himself but didn’t know about this admittedly arcane postseason ritual Lebron goes through. He also finds it a little hard to believe that Lebron does this every time he makes it past the regular season because it tends to happen every year recently. Regardless, it is entertaining to know that even NBA stars are subject to some superstitions about their game.

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