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.