Celebrating the people and projects of TU's Division of Administration and Finance

It’s only crazy if it doesn’t work: Ravens Superstitions

By Carol Wettersten

The fourth floor of the Administration Building is a sea of purple. Everyone is doing their best to help the Ravens win the Super Bowl, and that includes many different superstitions and game day rituals.

Many fans are superstitious about their apparel. Stuart Heilman, Procurement, wore a Ray Rice jersey for the first playoff game and has worn if for each game since. Linda O’Connor, Accounts Payable, always wears a Ravens T-shirt and Ravens jewelry on game day. Barb Hufnagel, Procurement, must wear the same jersey and her Ravens earrings. If the Ravens are playing well, she has to stay in the same position, no matter how long. The Denver game must have been painful for her. Victoria Napper, Financial Services, starts preparing early and covers as many. She has worn a purple bracelet every day since the playoffs started and she has worn purple all week before the big game. She has also decorated her cubicle with purple lights to add some extra mojo. On game day, even her dog wears a purple bandana.

Game Day rituals are a family affair for some, which is why Cathy Mattern, Financial Services, is banished to the basement by the rest of her family. They all sit in the same spot, and no one is allowed to switch seats if the Ravens are playing well. Unfortunately, Cathy can’t sit still, so her family sends her downstairs so she won’t jinx the team.

Donna Auvil and Deanna Martinez, sisters who both work in the University Budget Office, have their own family traditions. On game day, Donna’s husband wears the same t-shirt he has worn all season. Her son won’t change his jersey during a winning streak. Donna’s mother-in-law attempts to ease her nerves by cooking all day and crocheting during the game. Hot dogs are her family’s superstitious food choice; They are always on the menu.

Deanna's daughter Rachel wearing her magic socks

Deanna’s daughter Rachel wearing her magic socks

Deanna has to wear the exact same clothes each game day — # 52 jersey, her favorite jeans, even the same socks.  Deanna and her daughter Rachel have even started a new ritual for the playoffs: Her daughter Rachel lies on the sofa next to Deanna. Rachel wears a specific pair of socks just on the ends of her feet and holds Deanna’s hand. Deanna yells “pull” before each Raven offensive snap, and Rachel lifts her feet toward the ceiling until the play is over.

Bobby Zengel, Financial Services, has perhaps the most complicated game day practices. He wears a Torrey Smith jersey for games that need a strong offense and a Suggs jersey for games that need good defensive play. He wears a Ravens hat with a huge bird on top during all the games. If the Ravens need an extra push, he puts on a special buffalo hat – a huge furry brown hat with giant horns. Bobby says the hat is magic and is only for special occasions. Let’s hope he won’t need the magic hat on Sunday.


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