I am a mostly logical person. But I would never be so crazy as to discount the power of jinx in sport. My husband, a wholly logical person, cannot understand this. Which merely shows that he doesn’t understand baseball the way I do. (As a Red Sox fan he should know better.)
It is not something I find simple to explain; it’s just something I understand on a very basic level.
There are others who get it. Mike Greenberg, for example. I delighted in a long on-air discussion about why his father had to fly across the country to ensure the Jets wouldn’t lose an important postseason game last year. I totally get that.
While reading Steve Almond’s book, (Not that You Asked), I came across evidence that he gets it, too. And then some.
“The true fan, in other words, does not merely sit back and receive the game. He or she is working every moment, crafting fantasies, second-guessing, storing up regrets, tempering the unwanted equity of pain. This is the essential experience, the reward and punishment rolled into one, the sad duty of our sad disease.”
This book, recommended to me by Chris Barton, by the way, rocks.
From Little League “This was one of the few pleasures granted the Little League coach: the right to publicly mock children under the guise of nurturing them,” to Jose Canseco, “He turned away from his image with reluctance, plainly heartbroken that, in the real world, there was only one of him,” to the role Lord God of Sport played in Dennis Eckersley’s ill-fated pitch to Kirk Gibson, “How else does the game’s best reliever give up a homer to a man who was essentially crippled?” is SPOT ON.
The book has some brilliant insights about being a writer, too. Like this one, “To a greater extent than anyone likes to admit, writers evolve simply because they tire of their own mistakes.”
There’s logic in that, no?