Sports are an odd thing. They can take the most logical people and turn them into superstitious fools. I like to believe I'm a perfect person with no flaws, but that's not true. When it comes to sports, like almost all sports fans every where, I don't think rationally.
Take the 2004 basketball game when Maryland visited Wake Forest. Maryland was struggling that season, a season that would have them on the bubble until they won the ACC tournament. Wake Forest was a top team that year and a win on the road would have been crucial for Maryland. Because of the importance of the game, and because we'd rather pluck our body hairs than do our school work, my roommates and I sat down for the game. This first half ended with Maryland kicking ass, leading by 10. They continued cruising into the second half until something happened.
One of my roommates got up and my other roommate, Dan, stole his seat. And from there, Maryland couldn't do anything right. Shots stopped falling as Wake's did. Everyone implored Dan to relinquish the seat just for a few minutes to see if Maryland could pull it together, but he wouldn't. They got so far behind that he eventually got up and the original owner of the seat took it back. Suddenly, Maryland went on a wild comeback nailing three-pointers, but it was too little too late. They lost. And it was all Dan's fault (of course, he denies it.)
It didn't matter how much Maryland practiced that week. It didn't matter what plays were called. All of the Terps could have taken tranquilizers before the game. The only thing that mattered was who was sitting in that seat. Pretty ridiculous, huh? But that's nothing compared to some fans out there. So what the hell is wrong with us?
If you're a big sports fan, and I hope you are if you're here, you'll understand how much some random sports team controls our emotions. Some days are incredible because our football team overcomes a huge deficit to get a huge win. Other days we're depressed because our baseball team played it's way out of the playoffs. It's incredible how much emotion we expend because of something so distant from us. In order to deal with these emotions, we take the blame.
If the Mets lose, it's because I'm not wearing the right hat (I have three hats, one for home games, one for games played in Central and Eastern zones, and one for games played in Pacific and Mountain). Yet, it's so much easier to deal with a tough loss if I can take some of the blame. At the same time, we feel guilty when we take such pleasure in something that a team of other people do. Therefore, throughout the season, we wear the right clothing, sit in the right seats, and eat the right foods on game day in order to push our teams to the playoffs.
I hate to admit it, but my roommate Dan was right. Barring some odd butterfly effect, his seat had nothing to do with how Maryland fell apart that game. They fell apart during most games that year and there was nothing we could do about it. There's nothing wrong with what we're doing though. We finally found a way to be part of the team. A part that's just as important as the ballboy, trainer, or manager. And when they are all celebrating their World Championship, we'll know that we did what we could do in order to ensure our teams victory, even if that's just sitting in the right seat.