Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Sports Jinx

I will not be watching the Super Bowl this evening. In my household, I have been officially banned from watching all professional sports. My mother invited me over for the Super Bowl today and I had to remind her of the ban.

Since elementary school, team sports and I have had a very bad relationship. I was one of those awkward, gangly kids with no coordination, or comprehension of the scoring rules, who was always picked last for any team. I was an expert dandelion counter, cast into the nether regions of the outfield where there was never a danger of any ball dropping.

It’s not exactly because I don’t enjoy sports. As long as I didn’t have to participate, I always enjoyed a rousing game of football in high school. Just as exonerated by fellow musicians in the high school band as I was by any team, I was left to myself to watch he game from the upper bleachers and paying more attention than my more social-conscious band mates, I always knew what was going on.

We had a good team that went on to the finals in my senior year. It was after that that I became afflicted by jinxitis. We’d be watching some football or baseball game on television when I began to notice that whenever I was in the room, the favored team took a nosedive. As soon as I left, they recovered.

Some years ago, when the Mets were playing in the World Series, my mother and I were at Big Brother’s house to watch the game. Luckily, we’d come in separate cars. I wasn’t at all interested in the game and wanted to go home. They were insistent that I stay, however. So I warned them that I was a jinx against the Mets; if they didn’t let me go home, the Mets would magically start losing.

They scoffed at such superstitious nonsense. So I stayed and what happened - the Mets started losing. Big Brother was in his Thirties but I thought for certain he would have a coronary. As baseball fans are wont to do, he started jumping up and down, red in the face, cursing at the television.

“I told you so,” I remarked.

“What?!” he bellowed. He looked from me to the television. The Mets were losing badly. Baseballs were rolling right between the Mets’ legs, as though they were some Little League team in their first season.

“Get out! Get out, get out, get out! Go home!” he thundered. “Get out of my house! Go home! Don’t turn on the radio on the way home and don’t even turn your TV on when you get there!!”

Not only was I allowed to leave and released from the misery of watching a game in which I had no interest, but I was actually thrown out of my brother’s home (his then-wife wasn’t at home at the time; when she found out, she was furious until I told her I wanted to go home but they wouldn’t let me go).

Telling my supervisor, he banned me from even watching the commercials. He was nice about it, but he said, “Watch the commercials on the Internet; don’t watch the game itself.”

So I agreed that I would. The game is about to start soon. I have to call Mom and Big Brother to make arrangements this week for a car ride as one of the windshield wipers broke on my car. I must call them soon, since the game will be starting in a little over an hour.

I’m going to tell them if they don’t promise to give me a ride to and from the car dealer that I’ll turn the game on tonight.


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