There’s a Bud Light advertising campaign based around the idea of sports superstitions, with the tag line, “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.” In one commercial, a 49er’s fan returns to his old apartment to sit in the same spot he was in when the team one a Superbowl. There’s another commercial where fans in the stands turn their beer bottle labels facing out to “help” the kicker. Every guy can relate to this bizarre belief in the unseen forces of our fandom.
Maybe it comes from playing sports as a kid. At some point, someone on the team has a lucky pair of socks or a ritual pat on the ballboy’s head or the team wins after an odd lunch and we’re all subjected to the same lunch until we lose again. “You have to respect the streak, because they don’t happen very often,” is the line used in the great baseball movie, Bull Durham.
With that in mind, I’m having a tough time deciding whether or not to clip my toenails. It started about two months ago when my friend’s nine-year old daughter wanted to give someone a pedicure. Everyone else passed so I said, “Sure, what the heck.” Inspired by a Seahawks metallic blue she had in her overflowing Zip-lock bag of nail polishes, we decide on a Seahawks themed pattern, lettering and all. Since that day, my beloved NFL team has gone on a hot streak, even winning their first road playoff game since 1983. Since the pedicure, the one loss coming after I cut my nails a few weeks into the streak. Thus my quandary.
I’m generally not a superstition person. I’ll walk under ladders, pick 13, I don’t care. I don’t knock wood or throw salt over my shoulder, but when it comes to my Seahawks, something in my gut kicks in and overrides my brain. I know that somehow my lucky sweatshirt helped them get to the 2005 Superbowl. (Unfortunately, the mojo of my sweatshirt could not overcome the horrendous officiating that day.)
I know I’m not alone, just last Sunday, at a sports bar, while watching the game with a few other Seahawks fans, the team struggled through a sloppy first half, another Seahawk fan suggested we change seats to try and change the dynamic. No questions asked, we all hopped up and played musical chairs. The team scored two touchdowns and won the game. Like the commercial says, “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.” But it did work, so it makes total sense. Go Hawks.