Sports superstitions and jinxes: I believe
By Tracee Hamilton,
Two weeks ago, I wrote about some of the crazy things I believe are sports jinxes, including – but not limited to – my presence or absence in front of the TV or in the arena at certain sporting events. I was certain I was the only nut out there, but as my email often attests, I am merely one roasted almond in a big jar of mixed nuts.
The Sunday the column appeared in The Post, I was off on vacation, back with my family in Kansas for Christmas. That meant I was out of television range for the Redskins game. I was in television range for the Chiefs game. I grew up a Chiefs fan; the first pro football game I attended was a Chiefs game. My mother had a special outfit made – a red skirt and vest with a white turtleneck. And I rocked that look. I remember my dad and grandpa wore suits and hats and my grandma wore a dress and heels. Those were different times.
On this particular Sunday the Chiefs were playing the Packers. The 13-0 Packers, the destined-for-greatness Packers, the defending Super Bowl champion Packers. So after a birthday dinner for my mother, I decided to skip the game and instead drove 40 minutes – lustily belting out Christmas tunes – to a cemetery, where I did some much-needed clerical work, checking discrepancies between obituaries and tombstone transcriptions.
(Hey, as a child I was taken to a football game in a skirt, knee socks and saddle shoes – give me a break.)
So imagine my surprise when the silence of the eternal city on the hill was broken by my Blackberry, which began buzzing with incomprehensible messages. “The Skins won!” was surprising. “The Chiefs won!” was shocking. “The Colts won!” was, I thought, a gag. Then it hit me.
Mystery solved. We have met the enemy, and she is I. Apparently if I spent Sunday afternoons in a cemetery, the Redskins will win – making Washington happy – and the Chiefs will win – making me happy. And the Colts will win, messing up the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. And since I like cemeteries, this isn’t a huge sacrifice.
I even tested the theory on Christmas Eve, as best I could. Sure, it wasn’t a Sunday, but I don’t make the schedules; the NBA does. I watched the Chiefs – they lost. Of course, I couldn’t watch the Redskins, but I watched their updates, and they lost too – to the Vikings, without Adrian Peterson! And the Thursday before, the Colts won, also without me watching.
(During vacation, I have no control over the remote so who knows what we were watching the night the Colts beat the Texans. Christmas Day, of course, was a flipping day – Christmas with the Duke on AMC, Christmas with David Stern on every other channel. The weekday lineup goes something like this: Jeannie, Bewitched, Matlock, Matlock, In the Heat of the Night, In the Heat of the Night, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, small break while I put my head in the oven, then realize it’s electric, Jeopardy, Jeopardy, local news, national news, local news, Wheel of Fortune, followed by sports or more John Wayne.)
So with the weight of science behind me, my theory is this: With me in front of the TV, your team and mine lose. With me elsewhere – specifically, the cemetery – your team and mine win.
The next question is this: Can I go to any cemetery, or does it have to be that specific cemetery? Because airfare is going to be an issue. Of course, for both teams, the season is over, so we don’t have to finish our experimentation and form a final conclusion now. But I’m willing to wander among the dead for the sake of my team. It beats the red vest and skirt.