Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bringing out the strange in all of us

Ok gang:
I was watching an interview recently with a pro athlete (he wasn't a Yankee, so I forget who he was) and he was discussing superstitions and it got me to thinking how sports makes most of us a little bit strange.
And I'm not just talking about us as athletes.
How many of you out there have that lucky chair you just have to sit in when watching your favorite team? Or, is there anybody out there like me who won't change the channel on the television if your favorite team is winning?
Do you find yourself eating the same food, wearing the same clothes when your team is on a winning streak?
Many times I joke with my sister Debi -- another diehard Yankee fan -- that she is bad luck when it comes to the Yankees because they always seem to lose when she gets the opportunity to watch them on television.
In thinking more about this, I really begin to laugh when it gets to all of my superstitions as a coach.
When we coached travel softball, my good friend Jim and I must have been two of the most superstitious guys the sport has seen in quite some time.
A few examples:
-- Right before opening pitch of every game, I had to offer Jim either a piece of gum or a breath mint (whatever I had on hand that tournament). It couldn't be a minute before first pitch or right after. And, if I had gum that game, it was gum the entire tournament.
-- When sitting on the bench, Jim had to sit on my immediate right and one of our pitchers to my immediate left. Another certain player had to sit to Jim's immediate right. I remember shooing kids away to make sure the right player was sitting in the right place.
-- Of course, I had the luck hat and the lucky sneakers, which after several years of coaching had little to no tread left.
-- If our scorekeeper, usually Jim's wife Mary Grace, was using a certain pen or pencil to keep the book, I'd make sure she used that pen or pencil until that good mojo ran out.
-- After a game, win or lose, Jim and I would shake hands and get in line in the same place behind the same players every time.
It's funny because that kind of behavior is more than acceptable in sports. Come on, you all know we all have our certain quirks. Elsewhere in the real world, people would think that behavior is more than strange.
But maybe most folks think that about me anyway.
Until next time, take care and God bless.

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