I’m not generally a superstitious person. I don’t throw salt over my left shoulder; I don’t have a rabbit foot on my keychain; and if I break a mirror, I’m much more concerned about avoiding getting cut by shards of glass than I am about incurring seven years of bad luck.
That being said, though, I do think about superstitions fairly often. If I’m walking outside, I tend to avoid the cracks in the sidewalk panels so I don’t “break my mother’s back.” When I open my umbrella indoors to let it dry out in my hallway, I think to myself about whether that will bring bad luck. My family has a superstition that if you either step over a person who happens to be on the floor or walk in a complete circle around someone, you both acquire all of their sins and invite the evil eye upon them. I’ve never bought these ideas, but they do pop into my head whenever I step over my son while he’s playing on the floor.
Sports superstitions are even more extreme. People will go to incredibly great lengths to replicate the circumstances that they experienced in past years because they think that somehow they can influence the outcome of a game. I’m talking about seating position, whether the lights are on or off, being at the game or watching from home, which hand they’re using to hold a drink. Bud Light was airing commercials about superstition during the 2012 NFL season using the tag line “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.” Most people use these kinds of superstitions to win championships; I once banished my own mother from the room where I was watching a random regular season Cubs game against Cincinnati because both times she had come in earlier, the Reds tied the game. Never mind the fact that the Reds probably scored because they were playing against the Cubs (see Lesson #1); I was convinced my mother was bad luck for the Cubs.
This is what brings me to the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League. Just like I didn’t get into all of the Cubs’ history in my previous post, I’m not going to do that for the Blackhawks either. In any event, there’s too much to get to in one post, including their start in the Original Six, the stellar goaltending of Tony Esposito, the loudmouthed Ed Belfour and Jeremy Roenick, the terrible ownership of Bill Wirtz and the subsequent resurrection of the franchise that culminated in a Stanley Cup win in 2010.
My point is that the Blackhawks are currently competing in the Stanley Cup Finals once again this season and I am trying to figure out how to help them win. I’ve watched parts of the games, but none all the way through and definitely not the majority of any of them. I didn’t stay up for the end of Game 1, a three-overtime affair that ended in a Hawks win around 1:00 AM. Game 2 also went to overtime, I also didn’t watch the end, and the Hawks lost. I probably watched the most of Game 3, a 2-0 shutout loss, and the least of Game 4, a back-and-forth contest that also resulted in a Hawks overtime win. Now they’re going to Game 5 with the series tied at two and I find myself almost considering not watching because it might somehow help them win.
I realize that this is absurd. It’s irrational and kind of ridiculous to believe that a team playing an arbitrary game with arbitrary rules hundreds of miles away from me is going to be affected in any way by whether or not I decide to watch on my television. But then, if I do watch and they lose, I know that a part of me will feel at least slightly responsible. And yes, I know that’s ridiculous too.
But if it works…
 I don’t completely alter my stride to avoid them, though, and I definitely have stepped on more than a few cracks in the past few days. And my mom’s back is fine, thanks.
 It should also be noted that the Cubs won the game while my mother was safely somewhere else in the house.