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Entries tagged with "superstition"

As I lay here in bed, on the eve of game 7, I started thinking about all the crazy things sports fans do for their teams to win. Some successful, some... not... so... successful.

I'm not superstitious about anything. I don't believe in psychics, ghosts or lucky rabbit's feet. I have stepped on cracks and my mother's back hasn't broken yet. I've walked under ladders, let black cats pass in front of me and have never wished on a shooting star. But when it comes to sports, I'm as superstitious as they come. I HAVE sat in uncomfortable positions for upwards of 2 hours because my team was playing well. I've stood in crowded bars, in the middle of the busy thoroughfare, because my team was winning. I've worn the same shirt every game day. I've grown beards. I've shaved. I've not showered. I don't watch if they play well when I'm not looking. And when I played... yes, I didn't wash my underwear because we were winning. I'd do anything for a victory.

It started young. I can remember being in the fourth grade, the 1990 Michigan-Michigan State football game was the first time I ever prayed during a sporting event. I sat in the same position for the entire second half — knees up to my chin, back arm resting on the pillow cushion — waiting for Michigan to pull away. My prayers went unanswered. Desmond Howard was tripped in the end zone, the most obvious no call that's I've ever seen (and which the Big Ten apologized the NEXT DAY to Michigan for blowing the call... but I'm not bitter), on the two-point conversion that would've tied the game. I can still remember that day as clear as anything I've ever done.

A couple years ago on a return trip to Ann Arbor for the Michigan-Ohio State game, we were crowded around the tv watching, when Scotty got up to go get more beer out on the porch. As he was pumping the keg, Michigan intercepted a pass. Scotty walked into the room and Michigan gave up a sack. So we did what any real group of sports fans would do... kicked Scotty out. Lo and behold, Michigan scored 2 touchdowns in the next 5 minutes and put the game away. Scotty completely understood and even volunteered to sit out in the freezing Michigan November weather, risking frostbite, for a Michigan win.

What is it about sports that does this to grown men? Is it the reward? The comrade? The fact that this team who you've rooted for for 162/82/16 regular season games is finally able to be the best? For me, I believe it's the last. It's a sense of pride that my boys are the best in the world. My team. My players. My city. You wake up for the next week with a spring in your step, a grin on your face and a pocketful of pride. You're boys are the best. And that's something no one can take from you.

Just look to Boston this past fall. No city has gone through what those fans did. You have hopes; you pride yourself on the success of, not your city, but your teams. You live and die with them. You go through all the ups and downs of the season and grow to know these guys. You feel like these players are your closest friends. You grow with the team, yet you know nothing about these guys. It's a weird phenomenon but one I go through every year.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have one night to figure out what'll make my Pistons win tomorrow night...


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