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When It Comes To Sports, Superstition IS The Way

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P.A. Parenteau #15, Matt Duchene #9 and Ryan O'Reilly #90 of the Colorado Avalanche skate off the ice after losing to the Minnesota Wild in overtime of Game Seven of the First Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Pepsi Center on April 30, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Wild defeated the Avalanche 5-4 in overtime to win the series. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

P.A. Parenteau #15, Matt Duchene #9 and Ryan O’Reilly #90 of the Colorado Avalanche skate off the ice after losing to the Minnesota Wild in overtime of Game Seven of the First Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Pepsi Center on April 30, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Wild defeated the Avalanche 5-4 in overtime to win the series. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Brett Heinzerling By Brett Heinzerling
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I am not, by nature, a superstitious person. I don’t worry about seven years of bad luck if I break a mirror. My mom’s back is just fine, despite stepping on plenty of cracks. These things don’t concern me.

I do become superstitious when it comes to sports, however. I’m not certain that making sure I wear the same Peyton Manning jersey/undershirt/jeans combination will lead to a Broncos win, but it can’t hurt, right? I never utter the words N-O H-I-T-T-E-R during a particularly impressive Rockies pitching performance.

Due to these sports-induced superstitions, I feel the need to apologize. I’m sorry about the Avs, first of all. A dispute with my cable provider (namely, that my cable provider was going to charge me more in order to receive the proper channels) meant I was unable to watch most of their playoff games this year. But I did watch two. The first, they lost in overtime. I put the end result aside and I watched another. Game 7 against the Wild. My bad. I feel at least partly responsible for that loss.

A little over a week ago, in this very column, I gave everyone my reasons that the Rockies are well worth watching. Since then, they’ve fallen into an offensive slump, and they have dropped to third in the division. My bad.

I do take comfort in the fact that I am absolutely certain that I am not the only sports junkie that acted inappropriately in recent weeks and months and may have inadvertently doomed the home team.

Rahim Moore

Jacoby Jones of the Baltimore Ravens catches a 70-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against Rahim Moore of the Denver Broncos during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game on Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. The Ravens won 38-35 in the second overtime. (credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The players and coaches take the brunt of the criticism. I will never forget rookie safety Rahim Moore stoically telling the CBS4 sports department that the loss was his fault. He had broad shoulders, and he shouldered the blame.

But who among us can guarantee that we didn’t change up our routine in some way that day? I don’t remember if the socks I pulled out of the drawer that fateful, freezing, January day were the pair I had worn throughout the 11-game winning streak. And yet, I was not lambasted for not doing my part … none of us superstitious Bronco fans were.

The worst part is I can’t guarantee that I won’t commit further faux pas. I can only promise that I’ll try my best to do my part to help the home teams win.

And for those of you who claim that I am crazy, that my chosen routine, jersey, hat, etc. has no bearing on the game, I say you’re probably right. But if a butterfly flaps its wings and causes a tornado in Africa, who’s to say that I’m not at least in part responsible for wins and losses?

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