Wednesday, January 15, 2014

With Great Power Comes Great Chance to Screw Things Up

Some things are important and some things aren’t.  (It is amazing the insight this column offers its dedicated readers.)  There is important like avoiding being run over by speeding vehicles.  There is important like saving infants from falling out of skyscrapers.  There is important like keeping Lindsay Lohan from marrying any or all family members.  There is unimportant like 99% of what is on Twitter.  There is unimportant like when a person whose opinion you have never valued in any instance says your tie is ugly.  There is unimportant like being made fun of by people because you choose to learn how to juggle at the ripe old age of fifty just because you always kind of wanted to (so there all you people who made fun of me…yes, I am a fully evolved human who doesn’t take things personally…much…okay that might be more important than I first thought.)

There are also things people think are terribly important even though they know full well they aren’t.  In my life I have to say this category is mostly populated by sports. 

I am not a superstitious person in any other part of my life.  I will brazenly walk under a ladder.  If a black cat crosses my path I do not alter my destination.  If I break a mirror I do not consider it seven years of bad luck I simply think I am now spared of looking at just how gray my hair as gotten and I can continue to pretend I am a strikingly handsome brown haired man.  (I said I was not superstitious.  I did not say I was not delusional.)  When it comes to sports I am terribly superstitious.  Actually, I take that back it is not superstition if it is a scientific, data supported, fact of life. 

Exhibit A - I refuse to wear anything bearing the icons of my favorite sports teams on the days they play their games.  Well, several years back I spaced off that the Kansas Jayhawks were playing basketball that very evening as I dressed for work.  I unthinkingly put on my Jayhawk necktie.  Halfway through the day it occurred to me what I had done but I thought I was safe because the team was playing the Colorado Buffaloes and we hadn’t lost to them in years.  That night the Jayhawks lost.  It was clearly all my fault. 

Exhibit B – There are times my very attention to the sporting event can cause bad things.  I was the general manager of the Dodge City Legend basketball team in 2005.  We were playing for the championship of our league.  I had taken to pacing the hallways of the Salina Bicentennial Center while my team was on the floor.  This seemed to have worked in the previous two games in the championship tournament.  It had even gotten around to the other teams.  The general manager of the Salina team, our opponent in the big game, approached me before the game and made a joke about having security keep me in the gym during the game.  So I am pacing, listening to the crowd noise to take my cues as to whether good things or bad things were happening.  At one point I decided this was ridiculous and I went through the tunnel into the arena.  The scoreboard showed it was a close game.  Standing at the free throw line was Roy Tarpley.  Roy was a former NBA player who had joined our team late in the year.  He had literally made every single free throw he had taken the entire time he had played for us.  I am using the word literally in its literal sense not the figurative sense my daughter always uses it for saying things like “I was literally freezing to death” in regards to being caught outside without a sweater when the temperature dropped below fifty degrees.  Anyway, Roy is standing at the line as I enter the gym and he throws up a brick large enough to bludgeon Paul Bunyan’s blue ox into submission.   I sigh, drop my head, turn on my heels and go back out to the hallway.  We won the game and I enjoyed watching the video tape later. 

I admit it is hard to believe a middle-aged man tucked safely away in western Kansas spending the majority of his time sitting in a twenty year old green recliner has such total power over things he actually has no part of.  But it is true.  As my other daughter would say, for reals.

Christopher Pyle offers the final proof – he was not watching the Chiefs play the Colts until halfway through the third quarter.  Chief fans can ask for his apology via email at