Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has a few pregame rituals — putting on his socks in a particular order, listening to songs from some classic crooners and vomiting.
Allen is preparing to lead the Bills into the 2021 season with some of the highest expectations in decades, with many picking Buffalo as a Super Bowl contender. The MVP candidate said he’s been trying to manage expectations and maintain an underdog mentality, though apparently hasn’t yet found a way to shake his pregame jitters.
The latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here!
Allen Talks Strange Rituals
Allen appeared on the team’s Bills Pod Squad this week, opening up about his thoughts on the season and some favorite hobbies off the field. When asked by team owner and president Kim Pegula whether he has any pregame superstitions, Allen listed all of the things he needs to do before taking the field.
“All of my TVs or radios have to be even-numbered, the volume,” Allen shared. “My right sock has to go on my right foot then my left sock has to go on my left foot. I have to listen to the same seven songs before every game — Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior, Elvis.”
Allen then shared his more disgusting habit.
“I throw up before every game,” he said. “I’m not nervous or anything like that. I did it one time, and I’ve done it ever since.”
While the nerves may get to him before every game, it’s a very different emotion that the Bills quarterback brings onto the field. Allen spoke to ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques about the dynamics of coming into the season as a favorite rather than an underdog, saying he thinks back to the rejection he’s felt throughout his football career for some motivation.
“I have the same mindset and same mentality of [having a] chip on my shoulder,” Allen said. “I was in junior college not too long ago. So to be sitting where I am, actually it’s a great feeling.”
Allen in Good Company
Allen isn’t the only all-time great Bills quarterback to deal with some pregame stomach issues. Hall of Famer Jim Kelly said he would also throw up before every game, a habit that stretched back for almost his entire football career. Kelly was so consistent in his vomiting that some of his Bills teammates even came to count on it.
“I used to throw up before every single game – even in high school,” Kelly told the Bills official website. “In the NFL, if I didn’t throw up, my offensive linemen would not leave the locker room until I did. So, there were times that I went back there, and I had to make myself throw up just so they would be excited to go out and play.”
The locker room bathroom could get a bit crowded nowadays as well. After throwing up during a preseason game in his rookie season, wide receiver Cole Beasley told ESPN that he’s been known to boot before games too.
“I throw up a lot before the games, too,” Beasley shared. “I’m not ashamed of it at all.”