Patrick Mahomes had already established himself as one of the most talented quarterbacks—if not the most talented—in the NFL ahead of Kansas City’s showdown with the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.
As a result, he only cemented his legacy when he led the Chiefs to a 38-35 victory over the Eagles in The Big Game while securing the second Lombardi Trophy of his career.
As if that wasn’t enough, he was also named the MVP of the title contest for the second time to cap off a season where he’d earned Most Valuable Player honors on the second occasion in his career.
By this point, there’s no arguing Mahomes is really, really, really, ridiculously good at football. However, what are the biggest keys to his success?
Some people might tell you the QB who also played baseball during his time at Texas Tech has reaped the genetic benefits that come with being the son of a former MLB pitcher. Others would highlight the tireless work ethic that has allowed him to rise to the top of the NFL.
However, you also can’t overlook another major factor: the pair of red underwear he’s worn in every single game he’s played since joining the Chiefs.
It might seem silly to chalk up his dominance to a piece of clothing. However, Mahomes is far from the only athletic superstar who’s relied on that kind of good luck charm to gain some sort of psychological edge—including a number of icons who had some similarly strange (and borderline gross) habits and superstitions.
Here are other famous athletes with some clothing-related superstitions
One of the greatest basketball players to ever roam the hardwood can probably trace the bulk of his success to the virtually unparalleled competitive spirit that helped him become one of the most dominant players in NBA history en route to racking up six titles during his time with the Bulls.
However, Jordan likely credited some of that success to the piece of apparel he rocked during every single game of his career: the practice shorts he first donned as a member of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
His Airness wore those shorts beneath his actual shorts and inadvertently altered the landscape of the NBA, as the baggy jersey bottoms he sported in order to accommodate the ones that hid beneath eventually became the norm with players around the league.
Mahomes isn’t the only athlete with a pair of lucky underwear, although he has nothing on what the slugger best known for his time with the Athletics and Yankees resorted to when he was trying to get out of a slump.
To paraphrase Justin Timberlake in The Social Network: Red underwear isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A golden thong—which Giambi said he routinely (and successfully) harnessed whenever he needed to turn his hitting game around.
If you think that’s weird, just wait until you find out that some of his teammates occasionally borrowed that undergarment when they were in search of some positive juju; Derek Jeter claimed he once wore it over his shorts and hit a home run to bring a 0-for-32 slump of his own to an end.
Hockey players tend to be a fairly weird bunch with plenty of superstitions—and it’s safe to say the man who’s been dubbed “McJesus” fits that bill based on the superstition he’s harnessed while establishing himself as the most electric player in the NHL since joining the Oilers.
McDavid had an affinity for a specific brand of socks when he entered the league, but the company that made them stopped producing the style around the same time he was drafted by Edmonton with the first overall pick in 2015.
His solution? To just keep wearing the exact same pair, which he’s been doing for close to eight years in spite of the fact that the toes on both of them have essentially disintegrated over that span.
One of the most celebrated tennis players of all time may not have gone to the same lengths as McDavid, but he’s not alone when it comes to sock-related superstitions.
Over the course of her legendary career, Williams tried to avoid messing with a good thing, which meant she usually didn’t wash her socks when she was going on a run in a tournament. That’s a bit nasty when you consider some Grand Slams can stretch over two weeks, but when you consider she racked up 23 wins that those events over the years, it’s hard to knock the approach.
Remember: superstitions are only crazy if they don’t work.