I’m not really that superstitious. Friday the 13th doesn’t phase me, I like black cats and if I were to be concerned every time something like salt was spilled around here, it would make for some very long days. That is, unless it involves sports. If it involves sports, I’m superstitious. Very superstitious.
Last year UConn was in the NCAA tournament, on their way to an incredibly improbably national championship title. Every Friday of the tournament I wore the same outfit – jean skirt, Connecticut sweat shirt, brown boots. It kept working and clearly that was because of my consistency in wardrobe choices.
This year, my Patriots met the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Living in Seattle, this made me quite the outcast and in my belief, required a great deal of good will and juju to overcome all the blue and green here. I wore Pats gear everyday the week before the game. The kids wore their “go Pats” shirts to school on Friday (which someone pointed out will help them learn to stand up for unpopular opinions). But this year, I needed more than just wardrobe to gain favor with the football gods.
When planning the meal for our Super Bowl party (small, family only because we COULD NOT have a non-Pats fan in our midst), I wanted New England themed food. However, A doesn’t eat clam chowder, the kids don’t eat lobster, so I settled on Boston baked beans. But when I went to the grocery store, there was only Bush’s Baked Beans. These are from Tennessee. This would not do. I needed Boston baked beans. I wanted the B&M beans I had grown up with. Tennessee beans were not going to do the job. Clearly Seattle beer was out. Even though our fridge was filled with our favorite Seattle brewed beer, I could not allow it to be drunk at the party. Sam Adams (of course) for me and A graciously compromised with Pacifico from Mexico. (We settled on basic, non-denominational Super Bowl food of pigs in a blanket, enchilada bites, mac & cheese and some carrot sticks for fiber.)
As the game got closer, I began to look for signs everywhere. The Super Bowl porcupine who had chosen correctly 8 years running had chosen the Seahawks. This was bad. A thick, impenetrable fog rolled into Seattle on Friday. What did it mean? Was Seattle doomed? Lost in their own clouds? But by noon it was bright and sunny. Wait, what did THIS mean? Would the sun come out for Seattle? As the weekend progressed, I did a number of favors for individuals in Arizona for the game (Seahawks fans), clearly this put them in my debt, and by transference, the Hawks in the Pats debt. Lastly, Sunday morning I ran out for some last minute items at the grocery store and ran into the only other Pats fan I encountered all season. He exclaimed excitedly, gave me a friendly hug and said “I feel good about today.” It didn’t ease my anxious stomach, but I clung to his optimism.
And it all worked out in what was the most intense last two minutes of anything I’ve lived through. I won’t insult my kids and husband to say it was the greatest moment of my life, watching that interception, but it’s in the top five. As I cried happy tears watching Tom Brady jump on the sidelines like a school girl, I knew that the signs had been right all along and all those Mexican cervasas had payed off. The good guys won, the Pats were champs. (And until next year, A is welcome to drink whatever beer he likes.)