This Former Buffalo Sabres’ Captain is a Psychopath for This Crazy Routine
Most athletes have their own unique pregame rituals.
From athlete to athlete, you'll see a few common themes: the same restaurant or meal before a game, the same music playlist, the same order of operation for putting on equipment, and so on. It's a way to prepare oneself, mentally and physically, for the battle that is about to ensue.
Every now and again, a story will emerge of an athlete who takes their pregame rituals to the next level, and a former Buffalo Sabres' player is back in the news for that exact reason.
Ex-Sabres' Captain Eichel Shares Detailed Pregame Routine
The following information was originally shared in an article from Sports Illustrated back in late 2018. At the time, Eichel was still with the Buffalo Sabres, having been named captain at the beginning of that season. The Massachusetts native was also in the middle of what was, arguably, the best statistical year of his career to this point.
Naturally, when a young star begins to realize his full potential, he begins to attract media attention. That happened with Eichel, who sat down with SI's Alex Prewitt for an article that would be published on New Year's Eve, 2018.
As part of the conversation, Eichel outlines his pre-game routine. Check out this madness:
I am completely fine with players having pre-game superstitions, but THIS takes it to a whole new level.
Is the term psychopath a bit extreme? Maybe, but look at some of the details. An exact song, or amount of songs, for specific activities leading up to the game. The exact same amount of the exact same drink to accompany his lunch.
Also, being a hockey player, I'm of the opinion that putting on your skates before your shin guards, socks and pants is borderline insanity.
My biggest takeaway, however, was the amount of time without having any substantial food. Most hockey games begin at 7PM, and don't end until at least 9:30PM. Eichel eats his lunch at 12:30PM, and the *only* thing he says he eats between then and, say, 10PM, is one single apple.
I'm surprised, but also a bit impressed, with that fact.
Don't get me wrong, I am not one to question the habits of a professional athlete. The discipline that Eichel has to commit to his pregame routine is likely one of the qualities that allowed him to grow into the athlete he is. If he's happy with his superstitions, then who am I to question them?
That being said, there are SO many specific details that can't be missed, at a certain point, I think it would simply drive me insane, and we can't be having that.