Saturday, January 31, 2009

Can I Pick 'Em...Or Can I Pick 'Em?

Actually, no, I can't.

But picking may not be the appropriate word. Rooting is more accurate. Because who one picks to win is not necessarily who one roots for.

After the 2007 World Series, I paused to contemplate in this post how bad my rooting interest had been in the World Series. I always ended up rooting for one team over the other, and yet the team I chose to root for won only 27% of the time in the past 40 years.

In other words...I'm sort of a jinx. If I root for your team, there's a 73% chance they'll lose.

Okay, I know, statistics don't exert influences. But you should get the point. I'm far more likely to root for the eventual loser than the winner.

Perhaps it's that I tend to root for the underdog unless I have some other rooting interest. But I'm here writing this post now in order to tell you, it's just not in baseball.

I have the same problem in football.

The first Super Bowl that I remember was at age 5, the Jets/Colts match up in Super Bowl III. I don't remember even watching the game at all (I was a kindergartener), and I don't remember who I was for (probably nobody), but I remember the hubbub about Joe Namath, who became a larger than life celebrity for a good portion of my early years.

The first Super Bowl that I really remember was the following year, 1970, and I was thoroughly convinced that no AFL team could defeat the mighty Minnesota Vikings. My brother was for the Chiefs. I remember getting all upset (made exponentially worse by the gloating and taunting my brother liked to engage in) when the Chiefs went up 3-0, then 6-0, then I think eventually 16-0 before the Vikings scored later in the game.

Despite the whoopin' they took, I, to this day, believe the Vikings should have won that game.

Fortunately, I did win one the following year, rooting for the Colts over the Cowboys. Then I hit another dry spell.

The next several years I didn't win. I didn't root for another winner until 1977's Oakland Raiders led by the great Madden.

Here's my sad history, for whoever I'm rooting for tomorrow:
1970- Vikings. Lost.
1971- Colts. Won.
1972- Dolphins. Lost.
1973- Redskins. Lost. I went back and forth on this one. I liked both teams, so it was hard to choose between the undefeated Dolphins and George Allen's squad. I chose unwisely.
1974- Vikings. Lost.
1975- Vikings. Lost.
1976- Cowboys. Lost.
1977- Raiders. Won. I liked both teams. But how could I root for the Vikings after 3 previous miserable losses? I'm glad I didn't.
1978- Broncos. Lost.
1979- Steelers. Won.
1980- Rams. Lost.
1981- Raiders. Won.
1982- 49ers. Won.
1983- Redskins. Won.
1984- Redskins. Lost.
1985- 49ers. Won.
1986- Bears. Won.
1987- Broncos. Lost.
1988- Redskin. Won.
1989- 49ers. Won.
1990- 49ers. Won.
1991- Giants. Won.
1992- Redskins. Won.
1993- Bills. Lost.
1994- Bills. Lost.
1995- Chargers. Lost.
1996- Steelers. Lost.
1997- Patriots. Lost.
1998- Broncos. Won.
1999- Falcons. Lost.
2000- Rams. Won.
2001- Giants. Lost.
2002- Rams. Lost.
2003- Raiders. Lost.
2004- Panthers. Lost.
2005- Eagles. Lost.
2006- Steelers. Won.
2007- Bears. Lost.
2008- Giants. Won.

That's a 17-22 record, a .435 winning percentage.
Not near as bad as my World Series rooting, but by no means good.

It's not quite jinx-dom territory, but admit it- you don't want me pulling for your team, do you?

So rejoice, Steelers fans, I'm pulling for the Cardinals.


  1. I'm disappointed, Scottius. I really want the Cardinals to win too. Mr. BTEG will be insufferable if the Steelers end up standing alone with six Super Bowl wins.

    You should have had this to go with your Cubs vs. Cardinals thread.

  2. Paul!

    I love your picture. What's with the green threads? Anyway, thanks for coming and leaving a comment.

    I hope you have found a good church and have been baptized. That's extremely important, in fact it is essential. I would suggest a confessional Lutheran congregation if you haven't.

    And, since you are a new believer, I would suggest visiting the Ask The Pastor website. Lots of trustworthy teaching.

    Blessings to you. Stop back by any time.


    That picture you linked to is great. It captures a tribal displeasure towards our northern nemesis, it has a beautiful wintery feel while still creating warmth due to the sun peaking through, and it also informs me there has been absolutely no progress on the 'Lake DeWitt' debacle downtown. You can still see the curvature of the old Busch Stadium.

    How did you find it?

    Oh, and I feel for your Browns-ishness. Just remember, until 1975, the Steelers were a laughingstock franchise. Your time may come soon enough.

  3. I read that blog fairly often, Scottius. I thought of you right away when I saw that picture. :)

  4. Barb!

    Thanks. Looks like an interesting one. I'll have to "google reader" it for awhile to see if I like it.