Being able to tell a superstition myth when you see one will help you make clearer decisions when it comes to online sports betting. So don’t be afraid to bust those sports myths! Here are ten of the most widely believed myths of sports history.
Gladiators Fought To The Death
Lets start with one of the oldest sports myths. If you’ve watched Gladiator, we don’t blame you for believing this. The only reason people believe this myth is because of the movie. Gladiator matches were actually more of a wrestling match that included swords and armour. As soon as one contestant was too beaten up, the fight would end. Gladiators were expensive to train, feed, house and give weapons to – they were certainly not expendible.
The Story Of Rudy Ruettiger
This is beginning to be a pattern: some of the most popular sports urban legends are those there have been movies about. The movie tells the inspiring story of Rudy Ruettiger, who overcame dislexia and his small size to play football at the prestigious Notre Dame and win. The truth is that he didn’t do well – he played three games in his senior season, and only recorded a sack late in the game. ND was winning 24-3 anyway, so the sack did not do much.
A Soccer Game Started A War
“The Football War”, was fought between El Salvador and Honduras for four days in July 1969. The myth goes that it started after the 1970 World Cup qualifier between the two countries. Honduras won 1-0, but El Salvadorians insisted the game was rigged. Of course, there were much more serious social and political struggles between Honduras and El Salvador than a soccer match. It just so happened that the match was a stage for mob violence to erupt, which led El Salvador to take military action against Honduras.
Bobby Riggs Threw The Match
This has also been one of the most widely believed sports myths over the years. When Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King finally played tennis against each other after a year of Riggs scoffing that he could definitely beat the top women’s tennis player even in his retirement, he lost. The myth is that he threw the match. There’s no evidence or motive behind this: people just did not believe he could be beaten by a woman. In fact, there’s no reason he would have thrown the match. Besides the glory of winning, the victor also claimed a large cash prize.
Babe Ruth Ate Hotdogs During Games
This is one of the sillier sports urban legends, but it is widely believed. Somehow, people started saying that Babe Ruth was fat and ate hotdogs and drank beer during games. This couldn’t be further from the truth: he was actually one of the few baseball players of the time to train all year round. Maybe people at home watching baseball just wanted to believe they could be up there too.
Wally Pipp’s Injury Started Lou Gehrig’s Career
The myth is that Wally Pipp asked for a day off for a minor injury, after which Lou Gehrig took his place and played 2130 consecutive games. The story has a good moral: don’t take a day off or someone could take your place – don’t get Wally Pipp’d! However, the truth is that Pipp simply lost his place due to poor play.
The Black Quarterback Question
Another one of the most widely talked about sports urban legends is that of Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to take his team to the superbowl. The myth goes that a reporter approached him before the game and aske him “how long have you been a black quarterback?” This is a funny one, but it’s not true. The reporter did ask several questions about race, some of them overtly racist, but not this one.
Michael Jordan Got Cut
This is one of the few sports myths with a grain of truth. Michael Jordan did get cut from his high school varsity basketball team the first time he tried out. However, he still played junior varsity basketball that year: he was still a sophomore. In fact, he did so well that the JV team drew bigger crowds than the senior matches.
Jimmy Hoffa Is Buried Under Giants Stadium
Jimmy Hoffa, labour union leader, disappeared in 1975. He is certainly dead by now, as he was 62 at the time. There has been much speculation about his body – one of the biggest myths is that he was buried under Giants Stadium. The myth got so popular that Mythbusters picked up on it – they scanned under the pitch with subterranean radar, and there was no trace of human remains. No-one knows how this myth came about.
The Chicago Cubs Billy Goat Curse
This list would not be complete without one of the many sports myths about a curse. The myth goes that Billy Sianis, the owner of Billy Goat Tavern, was kicked out of the World Series in 1945 at Wrigley Field because he brought his pet goat with him and the smell was bothering the other fans. The Chicago Cubs lost this World Series and never played again. There seems to have been a man with a goat at the game, but it is unclear if he was even let in or not. He definitely did not send a telegram as is claimed, saying “You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat”.
We hope we haven’t ruined some of your favourite sports urban legends. Now you can be the know-it-all when someone brings up one of these!