Reverse jinx works when it breaks right
Last updated 9/18/2017 at 4:06am
I don’t want to say something, because I don’t want to jinx this.
How many times have you heard that phrase? Maybe you’re making great time on a long drive. Perhaps your team just went up two points with 10 seconds to play.
You don’t brag, because you know the jinx awaits. You know if you say something, you’ll come up on slow drivers that decide they’re taking every lane in front of you. You don’t brag, because Stephen Curry is on the other team and his shooting range just about covers a ZIP code.
In 2011, when the Texas Rangers were an out from winning the World Series, my friend messaged, “Dude, they got this.” They did not; St. Louis sent it to extra innings and won, then took Game 7 the next day. I don’t think it had any impact, but I still hold it against him because I can.
Now, when his Mets are on the verge of something great, you know what’s coming: The reverse jinx.
That’s where you do something because you WANT to jinx it. I want him to know the Mets “got this,” while secretly hoping they don’t.
Sometimes they work. On the opening Thursday night of the NFL season, we were discussing if the New England Patriots could go undefeated. They have Tom Brady, and their division is terrible. Still, the newsroom didn’t think it could happen.
“You know what? I’m gonna call it,” I said. “16-0.”
Our lone New England fan in the room smelled the reverse jinx a mile away. But New England got crushed in the fourth quarter, and their season started 0-1.
Sometimes a reverse jinx doesn’t quite break right. Near the end of 2016 a friend and I went out for lunch. He decided to pick up the check. My San Francisco 49ers were playing his Chicago Bears, he said, and if he picked up the check it would be like he lost a bet on the game.
“I’m reverse-jinxing Bears-Niners,” he said as he pulled out his card.
It worked. The Bears defeated the 49ers.
But a few months later, it didn’t work. The NFL Draft was upon us. The 49ers were picking second, the Bears third. San Francisco somehow got the Bears to unload three other draft picks to swap second and third.
Chicago got highly touted quarterback Mitch Trubisky, but San Francisco got four draft picks for somebody they had no plans to draft. The 49ers management even confirmed in later radio interviews the Bears negotiated against themselves to a degree.
That just sounds like a bad trade on the surface, but it’s compounded by the failure of the reverse jinx back in November. I reminded my friend that had Chicago not beaten San Francisco in a now-meaningless game, the Bears would be picking second and the 49ers third.
I’ve got one more reverse jinx coming. My Met-following friend bet me neither the Dodgers nor Indians would make the World Series. I gambled dinner at an Albuquerque pizza joint, telling him, “I think you’re right, but I’ll take that bet.”
Now the only thing I’m worrying about is who will be the first to say those four magic words.
Dude, they got this.
Kevin Wilson is managing editor of the Eastern New Mexico News. He can be contacted at 575-763-3431, ext. 320, or by email at: [email protected]