In the sports world, good luck charms are taken seriously.

These charms range from Tiger Wood's red shirts to the San Jose Sharks' lucky black cat. Sometimes they're even fragrant, or more accurately, they stink, like that of the Spanish soccer team Deportivo de la Coruna.

As the team runs onto the turf at their home stadium in Galicia, called Riazor, fans line the field holding smelly whole garlic cloves. The team and fans alike believe the garlic is good luck that banishes sorcerers' spells and evil spirits.

The old superstition involving witches and evil spirits has persisted through the centuries, and these soccer fans figure they might as well protect against any hexes. After all, Hollywood uses garlic to get rid of vampires. The ancient Romans believed smelly garlic warded off bad luck, and since what's known as Galicia was part of the Roman Empire, it makes sense that this belief carried over.

For a long time, the garlic charm absolutely worked, because from 1992 to 2010, Deportivo never lost a home game. But then, luck ran out when they lost to Madrid in 2010.

Unlike Lucky Charms, the smelly garlic was no longer magically delicious.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos.


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