Context: La Salle Academy is the school in question and is a catholic high school located in Providence Rhode Island. The subject played football in high school.
“Pregame rituals were a big tradition. We had what is called a grotto outside, which is a statue of Mary with candles lit. For a hundred plus years, it was a tradition to go out, as a football team, with the captains leading these pregame prayers in front of the statue of Mary at the grotto. Captains would do it, and some select seniors would speak. It was a hundred plus year tration”
This piece of folklore is one of countless examples of sports traditions and superstitions. What’s interesting about this particular case, however, is its inclusion of a religious element with the statue of Mary. Introducing this religious tilt into what otherwise is just another pregame ritual recontextualizes what sports truly means in this context. Clearly in this setting sports has exceeded its status as merely just a game. The value’s it imparts on those participating, such as a good work ethic and leadership, have clearly warranted sports being perceived as vital in this community, thus validating its cross over with religion in this context.