Pearls Before Swine is presently one of my favorite comic strips. On January 2, the strip's author Stephen Pastis poked fun of the superstitious behavior of football fans (see above or click here to view online). As a "Steelers Family" this one hit home. It was especially relevant this last week when the Pittsburgh Steelers really did play the Baltimore Ravens in a game that had all us fans on edge. (I am guessing some didn't make it past the half, and instead, chose to throw themselves off the proverbial cliff!) At half time, Kurt and I decided (like every other serious Steelers fan) that we, personally, needed to change the momentum of the game. So we did the only things we could think of: Kurt put on his Polamalu jersey and we waited until the second half was far underway before going back to watch in delayed time by way of DVR. Because, you know, in the past, having the jersey on has been the key to a comeback win and watching the game recorded on DVR, just a little behind and having to get "caught up," has put the nail in the coffin. I was about to make the girls change out of their new Steelers outfits (certainly it could have been the "newness" of them that was screwing the game up right?) but Kurt assured me, THAT wasn't the issue. Not this time anyway.
A few years ago, during the Super Bowl, we seriously made one of our friends go back outside (in the frigid January weather here in MN) and come back in because the first time he had come in, our team started playing really well! (Thanks for indulging us Brooks!) And then when I had gone upstairs to put kids to bed, and we scored, I couldn't go back down and had to watch from the top of the stairs until we sealed the Super Bowl victory. Yeah, it really is like that.
Now, if you are a die hard fan of any sort, you understand perfectly well what I am talking about. Yesterday, Kurt was reading from some Steelers Fan site he participates in and just about everyone on it was taking credit for the win due to some "thing" they had changed at half time. It had nothing to do with the pep talk the coach gave (where he most likely threatened lives, or worse yet, starting positions) nor did it have to do with the fire in the players' bellies as they fought to come back from a 7-21 score to win the game 31-24. No, it had nothing to do with any of that but had everything to do with us fans. We made it happen. And you can be certain, every one of us will start where we left off come this weekend during the AFC championship game. Kurt's jersey will be on and we probably won't start the game until the end of the first quarter. And fans all over the country will be wearing-eating-doing the right thing, at the right place, in the right position, with the right people right up until the end (or at least until it is clear we all need to change something in order to steer the game back in the right direction).
And yes, we are that neurotic. After all, this is the fate of our team we are talking about. We all have to do our part. So please, don't mess with the popcorn bowl, or yawn during the extra point, or go to the bathroom and miss that third down or..... We'll thank you later. (Unless of course, you were SUPPOSED to do those things and didn't! GRRRRRR!)