Way to go, bud. Just broke your mothers back there.
Stepped right spang on that crack, and now its traction for dear old Moms. Dont you feel bad now? Dont you feel like youve got your own personal storm cloud hanging above you like a dark halo, perpetually raining on your every parade?
This is all especially relevant today, see, because its Friday the 13th, the day when sour mojo and evil luck are set loose upon the land like a marauding horde. And you, friend, have leaned right into the punch.
Stepped on a crack. Busted a mirror. All that.
Maybe you dont believe in dark magic and how to protect yourself against it, but thats just because youre not as in tune with the spiritual, as, say, all those men and women you watch on SportsCenter every night. Theyve got it down, pretty much.
Take Serena Williams, for instance.
She just won Wimbledon for the fifth time, in case you missed it. Mojo for her is always remembering to bring her shower shoes to the court. And always tying her shoelaces a certain way. And – lets see – always wearing the same socks when shes winning, and bouncing the ball exactly five times before her first serve and exactly twice before her second.
Im not going to say all of thats why she was hoisting The Big Serving Tray at the end last weekend. But you can draw your own conclusions.
You should also know its not just Serena who does these sorts of things. Hall of Fame baseball player Wade Boggs, famously, used to eat chicken before every game. He took batting practice at exactly 5:17 p.m., not a minute before or a minute after. And hed scratch the Hebrew word for life (chai) in the dirt before each at-bat, even though hes not Jewish.
But thats nothing, really. Olympic skier Michelle Roark used to wear the same perfume – a scent she created herself – to each race. Former NHL goalie Gilles Gratton used to stand on his head in the corner of the rink before every game. Mark Fidrych talked to baseballs and Patrick Roy talked to goalposts, and relief pitcher Turk Wendell used to brush his teeth between innings, apparently believing that evil spirits abhorred fresh breath.
And Hall of Famer Billy Smith, another goalie?
He was a beauty, too. Had to have his pads perfectly aligned in his locker before games. Had to have a soft drink brought to him at exactly the same time before games. Used to go off on any clubhouse attendant who got it wrong.
You have anything like that? I once asked Pokey Reddick of the Komets, figuring superstitions were, if not a uniquely goalie thing, certainly ingrained in the culture.
He did, he replied. And then he all but put a finger to his lips.
I cant tell you what it is, though, he said. If I tell you, it wont work. Honestly.
Hey. Whatever, man.
And as for you, bud?
You need a routine, too, it seems to me. Maybe you could be like all of those race drivers back in the 50s, who believed the color green and peanut shells were the worst omens ever. Or like baseball slugger Jason Giambi, who used to wear a gold lamé thong under his uniform when he was trying to break out of a slump.
Whats that you say, bud? Youre already doing that?
Thats OK. You dont have to show me.