No, I will never catch a touchdown pass from Peyton Manning. I will never make the Broncos' roster. And, no, I will never play in the NFL.
All of that said, I’m absolutely certain that I’m a vital part of the outcome of Sunday’s Super Bowl.
I’m not the first fan to believe that my actions on game day directly affect professional athletes' fortunes. Bud Light based an ad campaign around the concept and surveyed teams’ fans about how obsessed—or not—they are with superstitions. (Just for the record: one in four Broncos fans believe they can impact the game, and 4 percent have had relationships severed because of their superstitions.)
To do my part, this Sunday:
1. I will not invite people over to my house.
Why: The Broncos lose every time I host a party. Universe: I hear you. It won’t happen again.
2. I will not make popcorn during the first half.
Why: This one is too painful to explain. Let’s just say that it involved Peyton’s return to Indianapolis.
3. I will clean the house during third-down situations.
Why: I always joke that my husband did not marry me for my housekeeping skills, which is why it is shocking to see me with a dust cloth or—gasp!—a broom in hand. However, I’ve found that if I do a few dishes or wipe down a bookshelf during a critical play, the Broncos prevail. The result? My house has never been cleaner.
4. I will not allow my little baby boy to wear his #18 bib.
Why: There’s a heart-wrenching photo from last year where my father is holding his first grandchild—bedecked with the evil bib—and watching the final moments of the Broncos’ loss to the Ravens. I should just burn the vile garment.
There are a few other quirks, but that’s the must-adhere-to-at-all-costs list. And I'm not alone: I was raised by the most superstitious sports fan I know. My father played college football and still sticks with pregame rituals from those days. To wit: For decades, my father has always put a sock on his right foot before the left one. Always. I’ve seen him ask nurses to follow the same routine as they helped him post heart surgery. (They laughed, but complied when they realized he was serious.)
When it came time to plan a Super Bowl viewing party this year, my father and I negotiated around our superstitions. Can we even watch together? Only if we watch it at your house. Is it OK if I clean your house during the game? OK, if I can clean with you. (I learned the cleaning trick from him, of course.) We won’t bring the bib. OK.
We settled on what we hope will be a winning offensive strategy. Which makes we wonder: What are you doing to help the team on Sunday?
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock