RDP #43: SUPERSTITION
I have never been superstitious. No worries about broken mirrors or walking under ladders. No throwing the salt. None of that. I like black cats — and for that matter, black dogs and brown people.
Except since I got involved in baseball, I have gotten wrapped in Garry’s personal superstitions.
It turns out that people who are “into” sports are very superstitious about them. If they are on a winning streak, they won’t change to different shoes until the streak runs out. Or they will only be called by a particular nick-name during a drought versus during a streak.
For Garry, the fear is that when the Red Sox are doing well, if you talk about it, it will end. I grant you that this superstition grows out of the Red Sox 87 years without a World Series win, but still. We are doing well this year, but we can’t talk about it. When the announcers start to talk about it on television, Garry changes the channel.
It’s part of a long tradition which goes with the most dangerous line in our language: “What could possibly go wrong?”
It really is the most dangerous line in the English language. Something can always go wrong. No matter how well you’ve planned it, scanned it, laid it out in columns. Backed it up with a dozen alternate plans, if you say those words, something bad will happen. Always.
Especially in baseball.