By Joe Torosian
“I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.”—Michael Scott, Regional Manager-Dunder Mifflin.
I lost my Mets hat for a week.
I don’t need my Mets hat, but any time I’m at my desk working, writing, I like to wear it. It has become a habit. And when it was gone—“accidentally,” I’m told kicked under the bed—I was really messed up.
It’s been found, but the Mets have fallen on hard times, and a playoff spot is now highly unlikely.
I’m not a superstitious person. When I played ball, I always wanted the number 13. When there were still bookstores with ladders on rails, I would deliberately walk under them. I whistle in the house. I’ll spill the salt. I’ll step on a crack.
I don’t get caught up in these things.
But when the Rams are playing it’s different.
Robert De Niro—Silver Linings Playbook—would call it, “bad juju.” I call it, “bad mojo,” most would simply call it bad luck.
With the NFL season starting tonight, here are ten things to keep the juju-mojo-luck on your side.
1.) Riff-Raff—I cannot watch a serious game (e.g., Rams in the Super Bowl) with people who are not invested in the game. They don’t even have to root for my team, but they can’t be casual fans who ask stupid questions in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
2.) Holding the Football—If it’s a football game, then who holds the football is a huge deal. The casual fan cannot hold the football…that’s bad mojo. I’ve seen this happen. The casual/uninvested fan holds the football—insisting they’re not jinxing the team—and then when they get worried they give the ball up. By then it’s too late, their jinx has saturated the football…Thus preventing a Rams comeback even when the ball gets in the right hands.
3.) Go to Church—This isn’t to guilt people who don’t go to church, this is to remind people who regularly go to church to still go when your team is playing a big game. Don’t take the morning off and think it won’t matter. It matters. Record the game, turn off your cell phone, and watch it without commercials when you get home.
My brother still holds me accountable for the Rams loss in Super Bowl 14 (hate Roman numerals) because I didn’t go to church that Sunday morning. I wanted to watch the Pre-pre-pre game show. Every time I see a highlight of John Stallworth in single coverage in the fourth quarter—with Lynn Swann knocked out of the game—guilt pours down on me.
4.) Mom Can’t be in The Room—Unless Mom is a fan…sorry. Don’t have her drop off food, don’t let her check to see how everybody is doing. I can tell you, witnesses will confirm, my mom is responsible for Jack Clark’s three-run homer off Tom Niedenfur back in the day.
5.) No Face Painters—No over the top, full uniform, face/body painters. These people are frauds who soak up the experience and all the good mojo at the expense of your team.
6.) No Drunks—They don’t even have to be inebriated. They can just be that person who can’t watch a game without a beer. That’s not being anti-alcohol, that’s being anti-that person looking for an excuse to drink and more interested in their next Modelo than the playcalling of the OC.
7.) No Halftime Show—It’s not good to be invested in the halftime show. If your team is playing you shouldn’t give one hoot, two figs, or three shakes about who’s performing. Halftime is a time to toss the football around outside, call curses down on your players, opposing players, or officials. Perhaps, even, to question the intelligence of your HC.
Soon as you hear: “I can’t wait to see the halftime show…”—You know you’ve let the devil into your sports room.
8.) No Sports Bar—(see Rule #1)…If you have to go to the sports bar to see the big game…You’re not a fan, you’re only a bringer of rotten, miserable, luck! Go to the sports bar to see the big game, fine, but renounce your fandom before you go.
9.) No Decorations—If your team is playing, you don’t need napkins and cups with their logos. They’re distractions messing with the mojo. Just watch the game, eat some pizza, and stress. Stress about everything but not about the crappy “Go Rams” plastic banner you bought at Party Supply.
10.) A Good Time is Irrelevant—If your team is playing, you shouldn’t be having a good time. You didn’t come together with like-minded friends to have a good time. You got together to see your team win.
That means if Barney leaves in a huff, you let Barney leave in a huff. Who cares about Barney? It’s the game, it’s your team that’s playing. Winning is all that matters…
If you don’t keep focus, the juju/mojo/luck will suffer.
And you shouldn’t want to see a good game.
If your team’s not playing, you want a great game. That’s fine, but when the Rams are playing, the best fun, the most fun, the greatest fun is a 56-0 victory.—That’s the good time you are looking for. That’s how you keep the juju/mojo/luck on your side.
The Dude abides…
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b