Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mostly true tales of football superstitions

By now you've most likely heard me complaining ad nauseum that the Christmas tree is still up, lit and decorated in my living room. In February. A rational and intelligent person might ask why but for this, there is only one explanation: NFL Playoffs. Any true fan knows that whatever you wear, eat, where you sit, who sits on you, where your wife sits depending on where she started the game and home decor are all intangible factors in whether or not your team is destined for glory or the dustbin.  Let's break it down.

1A.  Apparel. Plan your game day outfit carefully when the season opens as if your team wins, you will need to recreate it in its entirety every week. Extra karma points for pants that you have walked out of and/or require you to not leave the house for the very real fear of being arrested for indecent exposure. Lucky socks and underwear are key; best results are achieved when you break in a pair of socks each season lest you suddenly find yourself with disintegrating fabric covering your feet midway through the season.

1B. Apparel. As football should only be played on Sundays (I'm looking at YOU, Thursday Night Football), you might find yourself visiting a house of worship in the early hours of the day. Dress accordingly (and not in your best jersey.) Have a favorite dress shirt with a jaunty coordinating team tie for luck AND decorum. God loves a snappy dresser in His Hizzouse after all.

2.  Refreshments. Who doesn't love good game snacks? But the same rules apply, make sure it is something that you will not mind eating every week for 17 - 20 straight weeks. And in the same vein, ensure that it is something that you will be able to get and not a single seasonal container of something as obscure as blackberry cobbler candy corn, team colors notwithstanding. The importance of communicating the power of this critical piece of game watching to your wife can not be understated as she might get a wild hair and clean out the pantry during the bye week thereby sending your team into a horrible spin of ineptitude from which they will be hard-pressed to recover. Cough.

3.  Scope out your seat. Moving your butt cheeks a few inches right or left could spell DOOM for your team so pick your spot and plant accordingly. This might require some negotiation with your children who have also staked out their respective corners for watching Disney Jr. but hold firm! You are in charge and your team needs you! Also, you can distract them with candy; bribery cannot be emphasized enough here.

4.  Seatmate. As fun as it is having a partner who is knowledgeable about the game, provides better analysis than the play by play guys and provides far more entertainment via histrionics over boneheaded moves, it just doesn't beat having your lap occupied by something warm and fuzzy and you can stroke rhythmically when things are going out of control on the screen. Well I mean you can try this with your seatmate but she will most likely get annoyed,tear off your arm and beat you with it so it's best to just invest in a Magic Cat. Magic Cats work best when the Seat of Power is located next to the window that gets the most afternoon sun. Again, strategy.

Dylan demonstrating rules 1, 3, 4 and 6 

5. Wife's Location. Recognize that your wife (or husband or significant game-watching other) might have his or her own Rules of watching most notably that if she (he) does not begin the game in the same room as the TV, she (he) is to NOT spend anymore time than necessary in the TV room because even if YOU don't subscribe to this bit of nonsense, it's HER (HIS) thing and she (he) needs to own the responsibility of using it correctly. Seasons have turned on this rule being followed or not. For example, the reason for the Raven's stellar play against the Patriots is completely attributable to the fact that I sequestered myself in the kitchen with no line of sight to the TV as I was not watching when the game began (kid duty and all that.) This is a sacrosanct rule that you ignore to your team's very real peril. The only times she (he) is allowed in the room is when the outcome of the game is no longer in doubt or if she CAN. NOT. play Jake and the Neverland Pirates One More Time So Help Me God. Ahem.

6.  Home Decor. THIS is where games are won and lost. You think that it has anything to do with the hulking men on the field? Pfft. Not bloody likely. It all comes down to how much you are willing to sacrifice for your team. At Casa de Lange things were kept reasonable for the regular season. Caw, the beloved Raven's mascot pillow pet has the place of honor on the back of the couch right where Dyl's head rests. In a pinch he can double as a lovey for those particularly nerve-wracking moments where the minutest of momentum shifts depends entirely on how tightly one clutches the prophetic polyester. Caw was recently joined by the Bumble getting a Raven-back ride.
The afterparty

But where the true power of the Raven's unlikely sweep to glory lay was with...the Christmas tree which stands proudly in the bay window of the living room. Laziness? Nay, thoust unworthy unbeliever! For as long as the lights bravely glowed on the noble plastic conifer with January clawing its way to February, nothing could vanquish the mighty Raven. Quoth the Dylan, 'Evermore'!

My birthday present better be fucking amazing

Best results are achieved by the utilization of all six traditions as evidenced by the sweet victory of the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl 47; your mileage may vary.

Next year that damn tree is coming down the day after Christmas. So say we all.

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