By Chris Umpierre
ESTERO, Fla. – Tonight, the Florida Everblades will play their 13th playoff game.
On Friday the 13th.
Yikes. That’s not a good omen.
“I didn’t know that,” Florida forward Paul Cabana (pictured) said. “You got me all worried now. I might have to think of another superstition.”
From the team’s general manager to the trainer to the players, the Blades adhere to a litany of superstitions.
General manager and president Craig Brush, for example, watched a playoff game in Germain Arena’s press box last year. The Blades won that night so Brush stood in the same spot for every home game until the Blades lost, which didn’t happen for weeks.
Florida’s public relations department had some fun with Brush by placing footprints in the press box. They read: “Craig Brush’s right foot and Craig Brush’s left foot.”
“If I do something and we win, I want to do it again,” Brush said. “Hopefully, it will work again.”
Brush watched a playoff game against Greenville from the press box this year, but the Blades lost so he ditched that superstition.
Some players on the team get dressed in the same way for every game. And if the team loses, they’ll get dressed differently.
“Me and my roommate (forward Damian Surma) went to Cold Stone (Creamery) before a home game,” Florida goalie Craig Kowalski said. “We won so we kept going back. We’re 3-0 with Cold Stone. You can’t beat that.”
Most of the players on the team are adhering to a hockey tradition of growing a beard for the playoffs. According to the tradition, the players can’t trim their facial hair until their team is eliminated from the playoffs.
Forward Steve Saviano’s beard started bothering him last week so he told Cabana, his roommate, that he was going to trim it. Cabana was stunned. The team had just advanced to the American Conference Finals.
“Why would you do something like that?” Cabana told Saviano. “We’re on a good streak here. No, I’m not letting you trim it.”
Saviano said: “Cabana’s pretty bad. We have to do the same thing every day or he kind of gets upset about it. We have to walk the same number of steps to the rink every time. No, it’s not that bad, but it’s pretty bad.”
Do superstitions help players play better? Probably not. Do superstitions help a team win? Probably not.
“They’re just stupid little things we do that don’t matter,” Kowalski said. “But whatever helps the guy out, helps the guy out.”
Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th is considered to be a day of bad luck. It’s unclear how the superstition originated.Some say it’s because there were 13 people at the last supper of Jesus, who was crucified on a Friday. It has also been linked to the fact that a lunisolar calendar must have 13 months in some years, while the solar Gregorian calendar and lunar Islamic calendar always have 12 months in a year. Some say it originated Friday, Oct. 13, 1307 when King Philip IV of France arrested and subsequently tortured 60 Grand Master of the Knights Templar.