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The stage is finally set for Super Bowl 48.

As the Seattle Seahawks and their stingy defense will try and contain the Denver Broncos and their high scoring prolific offense lead by the Picasso of the pigskin, 37 year old Peyton Manning, who will be vying for his second Super Bowl title in three attempts. This time, outside at chilly MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday, February 2nd.

This one has all the makings for a great game, as the league's two #1 seeds advance to the big game for the first time since 2009 when the New Orleans Saints played a Peyton Manning lead Indianapolis Colts team.

If you're a fan of one of these two teams, now comes the hard part. "The Waiting."

All you will hear over the next couple of weeks is the speculation from the talking heads on who has the advantage. Which team matches up better, who has the more experienced team, who will play better in the cold weather conditions, the list goes on and on and on.

Then for the really hardcore fans, the superstition element will kick in. You dire hard fans will get an opportunity to  spend countless hours wracking your brain trying to remember the exact pair of socks you were wearing the day Peyton Manning broke the single season touchdown record earlier this season. Or how you had your shrine arranged in your football room when Richard Sherman tipped the pass in the end zone that was intercepted by linebacker Malcolm Smith to seal the win against the 49ers in the NFC Championship game allowing the Seahawks to advance to the Super Bowl.

With all this talk about superstition, I did a little research and found out according to a new survey, 21% of American football fans have some kind of pregame or game-time ritual they must go through prior to kick off.

What's even crazier, half of Americans say they believe God or some supernatural force plays a role in determining the outcome of sporting events. And to think all this time, I thought it was just 3 mob boss guys in the back room of a pizzeria in Kansas City that were orchestrating everything from behind the scenes.

There is no doubt that both fans and the players themselves are very superstitious when it comes to their teams, the games and the sport they play.

For instance a number of players refuse to shave until the season is over. That’s why you see so many NFL players with the big Grizzly Adams beards this time of year.

San Francisco 49ers coach, Jim Harbaugh is probably one of the more superstitious individuals you will encounter. He didn’t want to change his game day shirt once he left Stanford for the 49ers, so he had the San Francisco logo sewn over the top of the Stanford logo on his shirt. Plus, he refuses to wear anything but pleated khakis on game day.  

Fans can be equally kooky. According to the survey, 26% of fans have prayed to God asking him to help their team win and 25% of fans believe their team is cursed!

I’d be curious to find how many of that 25% that believe their team is cursed are Viking fans.

If the almighty does have a say in the outcome of games, I’m fairly sure he’s not a Minnesota Vikings fan. See Super Bowl’s IV, VIII, IX and XI for proof.

Myself, I’m a Miami Dolphins fan. And I know with the utmost certainty that he is definitely not a fan of the Fins. If he was, there is no way he would allow the dumpster fire that is the Miami Dolphins to continue to burn the way it does every year!  

Source: Public Religion Research Institute