Busken and the superstitious shorts
In talking with Basha coach Bernie Busken for this story about Hamilton being on the verge of setting a new big-school record of 41 consecutive wins that would break Busken’s Mountain View teams from the late 1990s, he offered this nugget:
In his second year at Mountain View, the team ordered new blue shorts for players and coaches.
A gentleman named Harold was the team’s equipment guy, and made it nearly impossible to get access to equipment or clothing without his approval/presence.
One day, Busken slipped through the watch-guard Harold and quickly grabbed a new pair of shorts without looking at them. He started wearing them underneath his slacks and continued to do so while the team was in the midst of its 40-game winning streak.
The night Mountain View’s streak ended in 1998 at 40 consecutive wins (or game #41), Busken pulled off his shorts after the game and studied them for the first time in more than three years.
“I never looked at the number on the leg until we lost, and it was 41,” Busken said. “I was pissed it wasn’t 88 or something. It sure was weird.”
Brad Malone scored the game-winning touchdown in the miraculous comeback to beat Tucson Amphitheater in the 1997 championship game. He wore No. 41, so it’s not as if Mountain View didn’t have people wearing that number, and thus would have laid claim to those pair of shorts.
But apparently no one did, and he fell into the routine/superstition traps one would think him of all coaches, wouldn’t.
“You don’t know if there’s anything to that,” he said, “but there wasn’t any sense in taking a chance against it.”