A – Many of you have been saying I’m an idiot for a long time.
B – Chiefs fan, you might want to skip this one.
I’ve been claiming, for years, that I’ve shed many of my sports superstitions. And that’s true to a point. Back in the glory days of my superstition-dom, game days involved elaborate ceremonies of picking the correct clothes, going through proper pre-game activities, finding the correct seat, saying and thinking the proper things before the game, and so on.
It’s all that shit I’ve (mostly) dumped. When the games begin, though, I can still be quite the freak. I change seats at halftime to try to improve my team’s luck. If my team is playing well, I won’t move, even if that means I have to sit in the same uncomfortable position for an hour-straight. Do I really need to use the restroom? Because we just scored ten straight points and I’d hate to ruin that.1 I’m convinced Michigan made their comeback against KU last March because I switched beers late in the game.
So I still have some issues.
And those issues reared their ugly head Saturday.
When the Colts-Chiefs game went to halftime, with the Chiefs leading 31-10, I flipped the TV over to Netflix and told the girls they could pick a movie. I was done. It’s one thing for the Colts to get embarrassed at home in the playoffs. It’s another for it to happen against the Chiefs, my hometown team that I never had much love for.
They kicked off a movie, I grabbed my Kindle and started reading. After about 20 minutes I checked the score. Hey! The Colts scored. But, wait a minute. They’re still down 21. I scrolled back through the game summary to see Andrew Luck had thrown a quick interception and the Chiefs cashed it in for another TD.
Back to my book.
I checked a while later. The Colts had cut it to 14.
Normally, when I turn a game off in disgust and my team begins coming back, I start doing mental math. “If they get within XX points, I’m turning the game back on.” I did not go through that process Saturday. Even with the Chiefs’ long history of playoff heartbreak, I didn’t think there was a way they would blow this game.
At next check it was down to 10. The girls’ movie was just about over and I realized I might have a dilemma. The Colts had played like shit when I was watching and had just cut a huge deficit down to a reasonable one. Could I turn this game back on, and risk blowing it?
Uh-oh. Now it was three points.
We took the girls up to bed and I checked again. The Chiefs kicked a field goal to stretch it to six. In the 30 seconds it took to walk back down to the basement, Luck hit T.Y. Hilton and the Colts were up one.
I groaned and yelped and cursed.
S. gave me a look.
“The Colts are coming back and because of my stupid rules, I can’t turn the TV back on,” I muttered.
She just shook her head.
“They’re ahead! They were down 28 points! And I can’t turn it back on because I don’t want to mess it up.”
“Sounds like a dumb rule to me,” she said. “Seems like it’s a good way to miss a great game.”
I checked the score one more time. The Chiefs were driving.
“See, now I can’t turn it on. If I do, and the Chiefs score, it clearly has something to do with me watching.”
“I’ve told you this many times, baby…You’re. Not. In. The. Game.”
I stared at my phone screen, waiting to see how the Chiefs’ drive ended. The moment I saw they had turned the ball over on downs, I flipped the TV on. Thanks to the delay on Yahoo, I only saw the Colts running off the field in celebration. Which served me right.
What a game, what a comeback, what an amazing entry in both the Colts’ history and Andrew Luck’s personal story. You can argue, next to the Super Bowl win and the comeback in the AFC title game that year, this is the third biggest Indy sports moment since we moved here. And I fucking missed it because of my stupid, idiotic superstitions.
So yeah, I’m an idiot.
- That’s right, we. ↩