Sunday, January 16, 2011

Always Scratching At The 8 Ball

I like to consider myself a reasonable, intelligent person. That's why it is always surprising to me when I get so superstitious and cautious when it comes to a lot of things in sports. Athletes have their rituals, and so do we as fans. For example, I bought a lightning bolt pendant years ago. I always wear it on Lightning game days. We get so wrapped up in our passion for our teams that a lot of that logic flies right out the window and it's fascinating to me.

During baseball season I watch most of the Red Sox games through since you know, I don't live in Boston or get NESN. If the Sox are up to bat and are doing well, I will not get up out of my chair to get a drink or use the bathroom. Unless it is an absolute emergency, my butt is glued to the chair. Because the position of my butt is directly responsible for hits or strike outs. It's ridiculous. But I do it anyways.

During the 2004 NHL playoffs, I developed a very specific ritual on game days. I would make special nachos to be ready and eaten during the pregame special. The night before I would eat steak sandwiches. I would wear my stadium give away Martin St. Louis shirt because it had good mojo. I was utterly convinced. I had a stadium give away Brad Richards shirt I wore once, but the Bolts lost. So that one was bad luck from then on. During the Eastern Conference Finals, I was so excited to see Jeremy Roenick play. I went on and on about it. Until the Flyers beat the Lightning 6-2 in Game 2. From then until the end of the series, my JR McFarlane figure was buried in the very back of my closet.

It makes no sense. As I wrote out all of these instances, I know how ridiculous they are. I'll keep having my superstitions though, not much I can do about it. It's my way of trying to control the unpredictable, uncontrollable nature of sports. Just don't tell my bladder that baseball season is coming back.

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