A tour through the wacky world of pre-game ritual, lucky tokens, mascots, taboos, jinxes, and coincidences. ""Charlie McGarrahan rubbed his hands twice on his towel, picked up his bowling ball, gave it two quick slaps and blew into the thumbhole twice."" Using examples from a wide variety of modern professional and amateur sports, Gay points out plenty of quirky practices, from simple to elaborate, that bring or protect luck--or just put athletes in the right frame of mind. Mixing generalities with specifics, Gay presents her information in a barrage that makes it better for browsing than reading through. A final analytical chapter--plus a large bibliography and an index--will serve readers with particular interests. Occasional cartoony line drawings lighten the format. Use this to update or replace Sullivan's Sports Superstitions (1978).