What lengths will you go to for a win?
I want to say that I am not a superstitious person because that seems like the logical, intellectual way to be. I am a rational person who doesn’t believe in ghosts or Ouija boards or tarot cards. Of course!
Except. I am actually wildly superstitious. I hate the number 13. I pick up heads-up pennies. I throw salt over my shoulder. I knock wood, and if no wood is handy, I knock on paper because it was once wood, after all.
My husband thinks I’m a lunatic. He is a no-bullshit kind of guy who has no patience for psychics, talismans, or old wives’ tales.
So when I told him I was leery of watching the Saints game last Sunday because I hadn’t been able to watch most of the previous games this season and the ones I did watch, we lost, he told me I was being ridiculous.
“You’re not serious,” he said. “You can’t be serious. If you want to watch the game, watch the game. There is no such thing as a jinx.”
By the end of the first quarter, though, he agreed I should probably stop watching.
And near the end of the fourth, he was sending me texts as I soaked in the bathtub insisting in no uncertain terms that I was not to attempt to come downstairs to watch the end of the game. “YOU STAY IN THE TUB!”
Once it was again safe and I ventured into the living room, he told me solemnly that he was very sorry but that I was not allowed to watch any of this Sunday’s game either.
I started thinking back to the 2009-2010 season. A group of friends and I watched the first five games together, more or less by coincidence, and then, once we realized what kind of magic was happening, we decided we had to watch the remaining games together, all of us sitting in the same places, eating the same food (alligator chili), and drinking the same beer (Abita Amber). One of us had lucky socks she always wore. I had a lucky Saints shirt. The one day a friend had to miss our viewing party was also the first day I wore a new shirt … and that was the first game we lost. (I have never worn the shirt again.) We all reunited for the playoff games, though, resuming our places, eating our chili, drinking our beer. We were scared to change anything. It probably was silly, we reasoned, but what if it wasn’t!
All around the city, we have our individual and collective superstitions. Some people make black-and-gold food for every game. Some people try to serve a dish that is a nod to our rivals – “eagle” gumbo, “ram” stew – whenever possible. Some people have to get Popeyes for game day. As a city, we light prayer candles. We don’t ever say “Super Bowl” without acknowledging that we’re not there yet. We make sure we have our lucky Saints blanket folded over the top of the sofa. We faithfully put on our lucky fleur-de-lis earrings and make sure we have plenty of Juicy Fruit for Sean Payton-approved nervous chewing.
Don’t worry, folks. I am willing to sacrifice for my Saints, and so I will definitely not be watching Sunday’s game – and if things get really dire, I’ll go get in the bathtub again. It’s not ideal, but if it gets us to the Super Bowl, then it’s just the way it has to be.
What are your game day superstitions? Share them with me in the comments.
Oh, and WHO DAT!