BOSTON (CBS) — Who knew that Bill Belichick might be a bit superstitious?
That at least appears to be the conclusion to be drawn after the Patriots confirmed Tuesday that despite being the “home team” for Super Bowl LII next week in Minneapolis, they will be sporting their road white jerseys. ESPN’s Mike Reiss initially reported the news.
(The designated “home team” alternates every year between the AFC and the NFC, if you weren’t aware.)
It may seem insignificant, but when it comes to these things in the Super Bowl, no detail is too small.
The superstitious part of the assertion comes from the Patriots’ recent record while wearing white in the Super Bowl. They were the road team for both Super Bowl XLIX against Seattle and Super Bowl LI against the Falcons, and we all know how those ended. They were also wearing white when they beat the Eagles back in Super Bowl XXXIX, an appropriate tidbit considering the Eagles will be their opponent next weekend.
The Patriots did lose Super Bowl XXXI to the Packers while wearing white jerseys, bringing their record to 3-1 in Super Bowls with white jerseys. But in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era, the Patriots are a perfect 3-0.
By contrast, the Patriots are 2-2 in Super Bowls while wearing blue jerseys. They beat the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI and the Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII while wearing their home blue jerseys, but they lost both Super Bowls to the Giants while wearing blue.
Irrelevant to the conversation: The Patriots wore red jerseys when they got blown out by the Bears in Super Bowl XX.
The Patriots have also been outstanding on the road as of late. They went 7-1 on the road this year, after going 8-0 on the road last year. (Of note: The Eagles went 7-1 at home, only losing in Week 17 to the Cowboys, after the Eagles had already clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC. They went 6-2 on the road. But the Patriots seem to be concerning themselves more with their own strengths and not their opponents’ strengths.)
On a larger note, the team wearing white jerseys has won 12 of the last 13 Super Bowls. That’s a stretch which began with the Patriots beating the Eagles.
The color of their jerseys likely has literally nothing at all to do with the performances on the field. Maybe it’s just superstition. But in sports, there’s something to be said about sticking with what makes you comfortable.