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Chase Claypool: Rituals from Laundry to Lettuce

Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool talked to Boardroom about his gameday rituals, keeping up with social media, and more.

It’s not unusual for athletes to lean into gameday rituals and superstitions. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool has been doing it since he was a child.

Thanks to a campaign with Tide, he took some time to reminisce on his own superstitions, from childhood to today…and to call on athletes to finally wash those lucky jerseys. Seriously, it’s time.

“I think every kid had that one lucky something that they didn’t want to change,” Claypool told Boardroom. “For me, that was my first-ever football jersey.”

Tide, the official laundry detergent of the NFL, enlisted players to encourage fans to wash their lucky jerseys and share their laundry’s stories. The campaign even offers fans incentives like a trip to the Super Bowl if they are willing to partake in basic human hygiene. The initiative may sound silly, but it calls on athletes to break down the superstitions that surround American sports.

Claypool recalls wearing his first football jersey when he was eight. He remembers never washing it and wanting to wear it even after the football season ended. Claypool said that the jersey probably disintegrated in its own filth, especially since his mom most likely hid it to try and help him move on.

“I remember my mom getting really mad at me,” Claypool said about his mom’s reaction when he was a kid.

Claypool hasn’t stamped any of his jerseys as lucky since he was a kid. Instead, when he was at Notre Dame, he picked up a new gameday habit.

There was one food near the exit in the meal room that Claypool had to get his hands on before every game.

“The salad bowl was right there,” Claypool said. “My first college game ever, I grabbed a piece of lettuce, ate it — that was before we played Texas in 2016 — and then I did that for every single game for the next four years.”

One gameday, when the lettuce bowl was empty, Claypool had someone bring lettuce to the locker room to keep up with the ritual. So he ate lettuce all four years.

It’s safe to say Claypool’s gameday habits have matured further since then. Fast forward to now, he only has one gameday ritual: running around the field at least once before showtime.

Two years ago, Claypool would record a TikTok ahead of games, only posting them if the Steelers won. This was during his 2020 rookie season when the Steelers went 12-4. He could share those TikTok videos a lot that year, but he’s recently transitioned away from that habit.

Postgame, Claypool tries to always put his phone down and spend time with friends and family, win or lose.

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Social Media and Gaming

Claypool said keeping up with social media has been essential, especially when he was new to the league. His social channels allow him to share his personality more and give his supporters a different avenue to help them better understand him. Despite using social media to be authentic and transparent, Claypool’s social presence has been met with criticism from people who would rather see him focus on football.

“You have to be winning…everything has to go right when you’re in this business, and you’re trying to do social media,” Claypool said. “You can’t post after a loss — you have to be quote-unquote miserable when you lose. [You’re] trying to balance the delicacy of fans and their perceptions of things, and actually enjoying yourself and having fun. There is a fine line between the two.”

It’s tough to balance content output during the season, but Claypool said he enjoys doing it when he can. He also makes room for gaming, which he indulges in year-round. While in season, he plays for only an hour or two a day. That time, however, is important as it allows him to keep up with his friends.

Claypool mainly plays Call of Duty via his PC duel-monitor setup in his gaming room.

“It allows me to reset from football,” Claypool said.

Claypool said his fans expect him to eat, breathe, and dream football, so he plans to do that and find room for everything else he enjoys.

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