Sports and superstition. They go hand in hand. Athletes have their pre-game rituals, meals, stretching routines. I like to get to my games an hour before hand, to stretch, do a little running, throw for a while, and more importantly, flap my gums with the fellas. A nice way to unwind before you have to get down the business between the lines. As fans, we all have our little superstitions too.
Since I’ve recently moved to new digs, I haven’t had much time to settle into any rituals for Cubs games. To me it’s throwing off the whole feng shui, karma, greek god, magical hole, balance to the universe type thing. I’m a nut for watching sports and having to do certain things in certain situations. In 2001, my wife bought me a Brian Urlacher jersey. I wore it for their first round playoff game against the Eagles. They lost. I wore it again in 2003. They lost again. I wore it last year for the Superbowl…..you know where this is going…..they lost. The jersey has been relegated to non-Bears game watching now. It’s obviously cursed.
Besides that particular superstition I have, at least for the Bears, I had quite a few in 2003 for the Cubs. First and foremost, I’d start each game sitting on the same side of the couch. Once the game started going poorly, I’d flip over to the other side. If that seemed to change the luck of the Cubs fortunes, I’d stay on that side. This process would continue all game long until I got to the side that seemed to be getting results. My wife blames the ultimate demise of that couch on the 2003 Cubs. The cushions couldn’t take any more of my flip flopping.
During 2003, one event that seemed to constantly change the Cubs favor during the games was my lovely wife’s visits to the bathroom. It was like clockwork. She’d get up, head down the hall and within seconds the Cubs would mount a furious rally, or bury whoever they were facing. It became more apparent against the Braves in the playoffs, as she missed both of Kerry Wood’s game altering hits. We were on to something, and whenever the Cubs were in need of a little punch of luck, I’d send her to the bathroom. Oddly, it worked every time, except for game 7. It’s become the running joke between us this year.
“Honey, it’s that time again.”
“I swear I should get a medal for doing this, especially if they win the World Series. I miss all the good stuff, just so they can win.”
“It’s a honorable sacrifice. I’ll hold a parade for you.”
I’m a little overboard, but hey, if it gets results in the Cubs favor, I say do it.
How about any of you? Strange game rituals?
Matt’s “From Right Field” appears every Monday on VFTB.