USC Good-luck Sweater

Background: R is a proud grandmother of a USC student and she routinely watches USC sporting events in support of the school. R is a Mexican immigrant and loves to support her grandchildren in all their endeavors.


R: “I always, always wear my USC ….cómo se dice…sweater….always no matter how hot it is! I am convinced I gave USC football and uh… Caleb… Williams good luck last year when they won all the games. The only game I didn’t wear it was the USC and… Utah game…that was when they lost!”

Interviewer: “Do you wash the sweater?”

R: “Si, I’m not crazy. The sweater‘s powers activate when I put it on… it can’t come off in the washer.”

Interviewer: “Why are you so invested in USC sports?”

R: “Because I want to be supportive of my grandchild and their success of getting into such a good school. I’m so so proud!


Sports superstitions are among the most common superstitions in American contemporary life. Sports fans like to feel like they have some control over the game, even when they’re watching from the stands or their living rooms. They pretend that they take part in the action through insignificant routines/gestures/sayings/or performative rituals, such as wearing the same lucky sweater. In R’s scenario, her sports superstition transcends just wanting to take part of the athletic event, she wants to take part in the success of her grandchildren.