You all laugh at me for my stupid sports superstitions. But today I’m laughing at all of you. Because today I have proof that these “stupid” superstitions work!
Let’s jump back almost two years to West Virginia’s visit to Lawrence in the final week of the 2015 season. For the full recap you can read here, but basically, Perry Ellis got hurt before halftime, West Virginia was kicking KU’s ass and led by 18 in the second half, I got pissed and started watching other things. I checked the score every 5–10 minutes, but when it refused to budge under eight points, I began shutting down for the night. I was brushing my teeth when I checked my phone one last time and saw KU was down two with the ball and ran downstairs just in time to see KU tie it. They would go on to win in overtime.
So guess what I did last night when West Virginia was again kicking KU’s ass in Allen Fieldhouse? I started watching other things. I muted all my in-game text conversations. I shut down Twitter. I waited longer to do it this time, I think there was six minutes and change left with WVU up by 8 or so. But still, KU looked terrible and I started watching the local weather, some of the UConn women’s game, a few moments of Food Network. Anything to avoid what was going on in Lawrence, but always with my mind on what happened two years ago.
I’d check the score on my phone, but it was going the wrong way. Down 10. Down 12. Down 14. Shit. KU was actually going to lose two-straight home games for the first time since I was in high school. This is strange and frightening territory.
But then the deficit started coming down. I didn’t see how, but now when I would flip back to ESPN the margin was 10. Then 8. Then 5. I decided to stay with the game when KU was down two with West Virginia inbounding and about 30 seconds left. The Mountaineers promptly threw the ball out of bounds, Frank Mason got fouled, and the game was tied.
What in the actual hell is going on?!?!?
I think a few kids in the student section actually lost their minds as both teams strode to their benches for a time out. Like heads splitting open and entire souls pouring out because what was happening in front of them.
But WVU still had time for a possession. I felt like the Hoops Gods would punish me by allowing a game winner if I watched, so I flipped away and slowly counted to 90 in my head. When I switched back, KU was running off the court celebrating while the screen showed a tie score and “End of Regulation” in the clock section.
Wow. I had no idea how it happened, but now I was back in. I un-muted the phone. Sent some shaky-handed responses to the texts that flowed in. Raced through Twitter to get some context. Cracked open a new Irish Ale. And then sat back and watched overtime. Just like two years ago.
Which in classic form for this team, was never easy. I mean, how very KU to jump out to an 8-point lead in OT and then do their best to piss it away.
But they did it. Home losing streak snapped. Bob Huggins sadly forgetting about his Beat KU Bonus he had already mentally deposited. And with Baylor’s loss earlier in the night, a two game lead in the conference with just five games to play. It ain’t over; KU’s been two games back this late in the season and still won the title. But as always seems to be the case when we get to late February, the other nine teams in the conference would all swap places with KU.
More importantly, we have proof that if I get pissed and shut the game off for awhile, good things will happen. At least if it is West Virginia playing in Lawrence. Hell, this might be enough evidence for fan sainthood!
BIFM and Rock Chalk, bitches!
- Or the Colts playing the Chiefs in the playoffs. ↩