By: Rachel Buck
Assistant Sports Information Director

Everyone has his or her own quirks. One of mine: I tend to be über superstitious when it comes to my favorite sports teams.

Alright, start the lecture, I’ve heard it all: players make their own destiny; what you do off the field has absolutely no impact on what happens off the field, etc., etc. And I know all the facts are true. I know that wearing my 2003 Marquette Conference USA Champion shirt doesn’t help MU win, but I still do it…why?

Like I said, my superstitions reach all my favorite sports. I have one Minnesota Wild shirt that I can’t wear if I’m watching a game, even if it’s on TV. And, when I go to a game at the Xcel (Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul), out of the four seats I can choose from, I always sit in seat No. 3.

At Brewers games, I’ve stopped keeping a scorecard. Even though I love doing it, the Crew loses almost every game when I keep one. And while this sounds crazy, it is a proven fact. I was a season ticketholder for four years, and during that span I told someone about my scorecard jinx. He made me hang on to the scorecards from every game I kept one, and at the end of the season, all but two of the cards were losers. And don’t tell me this argument is invalid because the Brewers consistently post losing seasons…I went back and did the research, and over those four seasons they went 194-130 (.599) at Miller Park.

Bob Uecker Brats -- So delicious!

My 1982 World Series Fever hat has been banned from all games, as has my grey hoodie and grilling any brats other than Usinger’s Bob Uecker brats at the tailgate (that one was fed-no pun intended-by my friend Cassie).

For Marquette, as previously mentioned, I pull out the 2003 Conference USA Champions shirt for big games the boys need to win. In case that shirt is dirty the 2003 Final Four shirt can also be used, but it is just a little less successful than the conference champ shirt. My mom even gets in on the action, knowing that if she watches a game and they are losing, she needs to turn off the TV (this has been proven to work almost every time).

The lip balm incident was when I went off the deep end

And then there is the point where I went off the deep end…my friends will never let me live down the infamous lip balm act of 2002-03. Toward the end of the season, I had a certain tube of lip balm I always had at games (the fact that I never lost it is amazing to me…I feel like I lose a tube of balm everyday). When MU had the ball, I would pop the cover on and off, and when the opponent had the ball I would leave it in my pocket. Every game I had the lip balm they won (during that span MU won 15 of its 16 final contests), even on the road, including a great game in Louisville. The lip balm followed me to Indianapolis and Minneapolis for the tournament games, but in a fateful turn of events I forgot it when I went to New Orleans for the Final Four. And they lost. I will never live that down, both because Marquette lost and because I was borderline insane for those two months.

It really doesn’t matter what sport, I always do a little fidgeting when watching a sports team I care about. Badger hockey and football, the Capitals…I even catch myself when I’m working W&L games. And working in sports information, sometimes the biggest superstition I hold is whether or not to include something in the game notes. Every team that I’ve worked for and had to write game notes, I’ve struggled with mentioning a player goal streak, team winning streak and any other sort of streak that could come to a screeching halt just because I happened to put it down in writing for the masses to read. My bosses have had the same sort of behavior, which makes me feel a little better about it, that maybe it’s just the conditioning for the job that makes many of us a few cards short of a full deck.

Like I said before, I KNOW that my actions have no bearing on a final result. Yet when I’m watching a game and telling myself I’m crazy for following the superstition, I continue to act on the behavior…and then feel really great when the team gets the W, with a slight indifference if it goes in the other direction. And if I don’t partake in the superstition and my team loses, I feel a small sense of guilt.

Reading over my story one last time, even I think it sounds ridiculous that I am justifying my actions and trying to give solid reasoning to something that I have no control over, but I know I’ll continue to partake. If anyone can help me get over the crazies and permanently put aside the superstitions, suggestions are welcome. Until then, I’m going to go home, put on my lucky Minnesota Wild sweater and watch them play Vancouver tonight.


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