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Superstition, The NHL and You: Bad Luck Runs in the Family

I can remember it vividly: I was a youngster, probably 10 or 11 years old, tagging along on one of the family's many summer trips.  This time, as quite a few of these pre-pubescent trips were, the destination was Branson, Missouri.  Admittedly, the lot of us (except when Grandma tagged along) could have cared less about the country music and the weird shows down there . . . my brother, father and I were going to play miniature golf.  My brother and I would drive Go-Karts and play arcade games and air hockey until we got tired of doing so.  And Mom would give us all shit for being aloof idiots.  And we would agree with her, then laugh and play some more miniature golf, drive some more Go-Karts and play some more arcade games and air hockey.  Those week-long vacations were a thing of beauty as a youngster.

But one thing was for certain: there seemed to be stoplights at every corner of town back then (probably more now, but since I haven't been there in about 15 years, I couldn't tell you how many).  And Dad would always inevitably reach the stoplight about 200 feet before the light turned yellow, which means . . . yeah, he'd have to stop at a red light.  Mom would always bitch about it - "YOU ATWOODS!  YOU ALWAYS GET THE RED LIGHT!  UNLUCKY BASTARDS!"  And a tradition was born.

Since then, I've found out that such luck probably was passed down, at least, to Dad's youngest son.  Past the Staunton and I-55 portion of my drive to and from work every day, there are seven stoplights.  In over six years, I could probably count on my hands and toes the number of times I've either entered or left work having gone through nothing but green lights.  This includes Friday nights in the fall for football games when nobody is driving through town.  It just DOESN'T HAPPEN!

Which brings us to now.  Mom has passed, but her wisdom lives on.  Dad still gets stopped by many stoplights.  As do I, obviously.  But now, Dad has a fear of watching Blues hockey since every time he does so, the Blues seem to lose.  At least this season, anyway.  And Dad doesn't WANT the Blues to lose, because like all of us, he is a Blues fan.  So he shies away from watching them because he feels like it's bad luck.  And in retrospect, I guess I don't blame him.

I've almost completely missed the last three games due to my responsibilities as the NCAA "Bracketologist" (Eat it, Joe Lunardi) at the office.  Thus, I missed most of the last three games.  Unless you count the third period against the Nashville Predators on Sunday.  I flipped the game on at the beginning of the third period Sunday . . . and you saw what happened.

Yeah, that counted, didn't it?

Our Season may be coming sooner rather than later, but it probably won't be this season without a miracle finish.  And I'm beginning to feel like maybe - JUST MAYBE - I'm bad luck toward the stretch this season.  Just by watching.  Despite all of Blues' efforts earlier in the season, and the many wins I've already seen on television.  The good news is this: because of earlier said NCAA tournament AND bowling obligations, I'll probably only be able to catch snippets of the Blues' next three games.  The bad news?  I'll be in attendance for the last home game against the Ducks.  And I'm going to show up whether you like or not.  Fuck me.

NHL players seem to have odd superstitions.  The fans can have the same superstitions based upon their following of the team.  And I feel like I may be one of those fans.  Is it true?  Should I start looking the other way in fear of bad luck, or should I start watching this team again, in hopes that luck will turn?  What say you, Game Time?

I'm looking for ideas for Blues articles.  Send me an e-mail!  It's at the very bottom of this page - look next to Donut King.  All ideas are welcome.