Unveiling the Unusual: 12 NFL Players and Their Strangely Fascinating Pregame Rituals That You Won’t Believe

While the NFL is a physical league, there’s no question that it is also challenging mentally. Given the unpredictability of the NFL, it’s no surprise that some NFL players engage in the strangest pre-game rituals, which may or may not even be connected to football. However, if it gives them peace of mind to appease the uncontrollable forces that allow them to play better on the field, then they shouldn’t be judged for it. Furthermore, with the bright lights of the NFL, it sure helps to have something to lean on to ease the nervousness. Nevertheless, for this piece, let’s take a look at 12 NFL players with the strangest pre-game rituals.

12. Patrick Mahomes: Single Sleeve
There’s no question that Patrick Mahomes is excellent on the field. He’s a Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl MVP, and NFL MVP. However, Mahomes stands out on the field as he is seen only wearing one arm sleeve. Based on reports, before the games, Mahomes intentionally opted to wear one only. This practice dates back to his high school years. In fact, even cold days won’t stop the Kansas star from wearing more sleeves.

11. Marcel Darreus: Old Music
While some NFL players focus on their wardrobe or food, Marcel Darreus puts on old-school music to relax before games. According to sources, the defensive tackle loves to listen to songs by Teddy Pendergrass, Marvin Gaye, and Al Green. Darreus is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and a First team All-Pro.

10. Emmanuel Sanders: Madden
A lot of regular people de-stress by playing video games. The same can be said for Emmanuel Sanders. In order to hype himself up for the upcoming game, Sanders plays the virtual version of his next opponent in Madden. While Sanders gets the job done virtually, he has found a lot of success in reality. Sanders is a Super Bowl champion and a two-time Pro Bowler.

9. John Johnson: Long Bath
There’s nothing more relaxing than taking a long bath. As a result, John Johnson takes a 15-30 minute bath in the bathtub before the games. Given his relaxing routine, Johnson has proved to be a serviceable free safety in the NFL after playing for the Los Angeles Rams and the Cleveland Browns.

8. Marshawn Lynch: Skittles

Marshawn Lynch can go Beast Mode every time he’s on the field. But before every game, Lynch needs to munch on a handful of Skittles. Dating back to his teenage years, Lynch’s mom always fed him Skittles by regarding them as “power pellets”. While it’s only a pastime snack for some, they’ve helped Lynch become a Super Bowl champion that made five Pro Bowl appearances and lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns twice.

7. Brian Urlacher: Cookies
Cookies are also great snacks for a lot of kids. But for Brian Urlacher, these are a must-have before the games. For Urlacher, they are simply delicious. Although cookies don’t necessarily increase athletic performance, they’ve helped Urlacher carve out a Hall of Fame-worthy career as one of the best defenders in the NFL.

6. Jake Elliot: Pizza and Cheesecake
While some NFL players have pre-game snacks, Jake Elliot makes sure to have a slice of pizza and cheesecake on dinners before games. Ever since his freshman year at University of Memphis, Elliot has performed this ritual. Although pizzas and cheesecakes don’t seem like the healthiest foods, Elliot has made one Pro Bowl appearance and helped the Eagles win Super Bowl LII.

5. Matt Bryant: Chocolate Milkshake
Ever since entering the NFL with the New York Giants, Matt Bryant has made sure to drink a chocolate milkshake on the nights before the games. Given the energy that chocolate milkshake provides, Bryant carved out a solid NFL career that saw him lead the league in scoring and make the Pro Bowl in 2016.

4. Harrison Smith: Tabasco
In order to wake themselves up, some people drink a cup of coffee for a caffeine boost. However, for Harrison Smith, he takes a shot of Tabasco hot sauce. With a spicy kick, the Vikings safety does his best to show up in games. Thus far, he has tallied 933 total tackles with 34 interceptions. Smith is also a two-time All-Pro selection and has made six Pro Bowl appearances.

3. Tom Brady: Mantras, Stones, Necklaces, Altar
After what he has achieved, Tom Brady is arguably the best quarterback in NFL history. He has won seven Super Bowls, five Super Bowl MVPs, and three NFL MVPs. While we know that Brady works hard on the field and on his diet, Brady also confessed that his wife, Giselle Bundchen also made an altar for him. She also gives him some stones and necklaces and recites some mantras before the game. The pre-game ritual is certainly odd but if it helps Brady on the field and in his relationship with his wife, then it’s definitely cool.

2. John Henderson: Face Slap
Among the pre-game rituals in this list, this has to be the most violent one. Henderson shakes off the jitters by requesting the team’s trainer to slap him hard. While that was a painful way to enter a game, Henderson went on to become one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. He made two Pro Bowl appearances and made an All-Pro selection. Throughout his career, Henderson also registered 489 total tackles and 29.0 sacks.

1. Josh Allen: Vomit
Given that the NFL games can be nerve-wracking as a player, Josh Allen copes with it by vomiting before games. Although it can be disgusting, it does help the Bills’ QB to ease his anxiety. Allen has made two Pro Bowl appearances and has made the Second-team All-Pro.

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