Lesson #2: The Chicago Blackhawks

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.”[1]  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[2] 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.[3]

 

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.[4]  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…


[1] 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.

[3] It should also be noted that the Cubs won the game while my mother was safely somewhere else in the house.

[4] Feel free to do your own Internet research, including checking out my brother’s blog, Windy on the Banks, which focuses much more heavily on Chicago sports.

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6 responses to “Lesson #2: The Chicago Blackhawks

  1. The Blackhawks were playing the Canucks in the first round of the playoffs two years ago. I watched then first three games, they lost all three. I didn:’t watch the next three, they won all three. I watched game seven, and of course, they lost.
    Tell me that wasn’t my fault

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    • Joel and I have given you a bunch of crap over the years for things that may or may not have been your fault. It would have been really easy to blame you for this one too (and the irrational part of me probably does). But the rational part of me knows that that Hawks team was too inconsistent all year and was suffering the post-championship hangover so they weren’t realistically going to win anyway. So here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtkST5-ZFHw

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  2. During game 5 of the Western Conference Finals this year, I was sitting in my living room watching the game. After the first overtime period ended I went into the bedroom, pulled out my Patrick Kane – 2010 Stanley Cup jersey and laid it across the cushions on the couch next to me. In the second overtime period Kane completed his hat trick and won the series. That was clearly all me.

    Stanley Cup Finals game 1 – jersey on the sofa next to me the whole game, and the Hawks win in 3 OTs.

    Game 2 – I was WEARING the jersey, and the Hawks lose. So that clearly doesn’t work.

    Game 3 – I was watching the game on my computer while grading papers. Hawks lose, and get woefully shut out. My bad guys.

    Game 4 – Jersey back where it belongs on the sofa next to me. Hawks even the series.

    Game 5 – Jersey on the sofa, Hawks win in regulation.

    Guess where it’s gonna be for game 6…

    And Benjamin, that Vancouver series was DEFINITELY your fault. 🙂

    Like

  3. Pingback: Celebrating a Championship | Sleeping on the Edge

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