GREENY: If you're trying to tell me that you don't believe in any of this stuff—the gods of baseball, the golf gods, kismet, fate—then why is it that every time you're driving somewhere and you're making great time, if you dare mention it, you're sure to find yourself backed up in the worst traffic jam ever.
GOLIC: You're nuts.
Mike & Mike,
Athletes like routines—staying in the same hotel, who's the last one out of the locker room. Those can be considered superstitious, because it gives them a comfort zone. But if superstitions were true, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins would have never won the Stanley Cup in 2009 after they broke tradition and hoisted the Eastern Conference trophy.
GREENY: When you were playing at Notre Dame—I realize that they didn't have the "Play Like A Champion" sign up then, that the sign and the tradition of touching it as you're heading out onto the field was brought back later by Lou Holtz—would you have touched the sign?
GOLIC: You know, I probably would have, but not because of superstition. Let's say I forgot to touch it before a game; there's no way I'm going to head back into the locker room and start taking my pads off because, hey, how in the world am I going to shake off a block after I forgot to touch the sign? Stop it. I would touch the sign because it's a tradition that builds unity among the players on the team, and I'd want everyone to feel that. It could come in handy during a goal line stand late in the fourth quarter.
GREENY: Some traditions are important, but many of them are senseless. For example, in baseball, you have managers wearing uniforms. Why? And why does the league even concern itself with this? Terry Francona, the manager of the Red Sox, got into the habit of wearing a pullover, but a couple of years ago during a game against the Yankees—I repeat, during a game, with the Yankees batting and Derek Jeter on second—a league representative came into the dugout, pulled Francona aside, and checked under his pullover to make sure he was wearing a uniform. Needless to say, Francona wasn't happy about it.
GOLIC: I'm with Francona. Do it before or after the game or, at the very least, do it between innings.
GREENY: I can just imagine it. "Terry, what are you wearing under there? Under where? Ha ha!" It must have made all the kids laugh. But I'm taking this a step further: Why do managers wear uniforms anyway? Phil Jackson doesn't have to wear a tank top and shorts on the sidelines. Bill Belichick isn't wearing shoulder pads. But in baseball, there are 70-year-old men walking around in baseball pants, stirrups, even cleats. Why is Joe Torre or Charlie Manuel wearing a uniform? It looks nonsensical. I've never been to a sumo wrestling match, but I'd love to know if they make sumo coaches wear the big diapers.
GOLIC: I don't know if there's another sport where the coaches have to wear the uniform.
GREENY: It's pointless. Right in the middle of a game, the league went and checked on something that makes no sense to begin with.
GOLIC: In the NFL, the fashion police check before every game, usually during warmups, to make sure everything is legit.
GREENY: Check who?
GOLIC: They check the players.
GREENY: The players!
GOLIC: Yes, they check coaches, too, especially these days. They have to make sure that the coach is wearing the right product, like an officially licensed ballcap. It's ridiculous.