Being an absurdly superstitious sports fan is a terrible thing.
You’d love to talk about your team and how well they are playing. You’d relish chatting about their residence atop their division, about how they crushed their divisional rivals, and about their ability to withstand the pressure and win close games. You’d like to do some trash-talking and razz the fans of opposing teams.
You’d enjoy a chance to brag a little, knowing that sports success can be fleeting and you need to strike while the iron is hot. But you can’t — you absolutely can’t! — because you understand, to the deepest fiber of your being, that if you even mention the team by name and boast to anyone — even overbearing fans of other teams — about how well the team is playing, you have ensured their ultimate failure just as surely as if you sabotaged their equipment.
That doesn’t mean you can’t silently support your team by, say, wearing a hat that demonstrates your allegiance. But beyond that, you must maintain the strict jinx-avoiding vow of silence. And if anyone asks you about it, or wants to talk about it, you must assume the most humble disposition imaginable and change the subject as quickly as possible.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
Uncle Mack’s post, below, quite correctly points out that I haven’t written anything about the unfortunate outcome of the Ohio State-Michigan State game Saturday night. The superficial reason for the omission is that I didn’t actually watch the game, because Kish and I were out having dinner with friends. The real, unstated reason, however, is that I know that I am personally responsible for the debacle.
Every true sports fan know that, even though you don’t suit up for games, and your athletic ability could be fully measured in a thimble, your behavior has a real, immediate impact on the outcome of contests. Perhaps it is because you don’t wear your lucky shirt. Perhaps it is because you didn’t drink your Budweiser in precisely the right way. Or perhaps — as in my case — you wrote or said something that was just a thumb in the eye to the unforgiving Fates.
I had to write a purportedly humorous blog posting about the Illinois-Michigan State game and the bricklaying that occurred. Of course the God of Sports would notice and decide that my hubris merited punishment! Saturday’s game, in which the Buckeyes shot a ridiculously low percentage from the field, was the inevitable result.
Uncle Mack is well within his rights to call me on this. It’s all my fault! I apologize to the team and the Buckeye Nation as a whole. From here on out, it’s humility, humility, and more humility — and drinking my adult beverage of choice at precisely the right time and in precisely the right way.