It’s fútbol time! If you’re a soccer fan like me, the next four weeks are going to be exciting. We’ll witness astonishing ball skills, tactical genius, lots of grit and feats of stamina, and the occasional on-pitch thuggery (four years ago, the Dutch team played a series of shocking anything-goes World Cup games so brutal they would’ve made Attila the Hun blush).
But something else is going to be on clear display: superstition. Whether it’s players’ lucky underwear, their habit of kissing a cross-shaped pendant prior to kick-off, or, after scoring a goal, pointing to the sky in praise of the Creator, unabashedly irrational behavior will be rampant. (England’s Gary Lineker was famous for not shooting on goal during the pre-game warm-up, as he thought he’d be “wasting” perfectly good goal-scoring opportunities.)