Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Scarlet "J"

         In February of 2008, the New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants in the final moments of Super Bowl XLII. The loss solidified my place in the family as “THE JINX”. [1] Whenever I make a sports prediction the universe has an equal and opposite reaction. I swore, after being teased relentlessly, that I would keep my mouth shut. But my family still insists celebrating my faults. I kept my mouth shut since that humiliating day[2]. That is, until last Monday when the Celtics played the New York Knickerbockers in game one of their 2011 playoff series.  While the aging Celtics were generally outplayed by a rapidly improving Knickerbockers, Ray Allen drained a three point shot in the final seconds of the game to put Boston ahead.  I posted one innocent word on my Facebook status; “RAAAYYYY!!!!!”.

         My father and brothers responded by writing me long letters about how happy they were that I was rooting for the Celtics. Once again they dusted off the old Corey Jinx and wrapped it around me like a straight jacket. Stupidly, I responded. I took the bait and wrote back.

         I think if I sat down with my father and four brothers and said “hey enough with the Jinx”, they would say it was all in fun. They would, rightly so, point out what an insufferably big mouth I had and that I was practically  begging for their ridicule. Point well taken, even if it was not actually made.

         So what’s the big deal?  The big deal is that when they play the Jinx card, they are putting a spotlight on a fault that I have been working pretty hard on. I know they don’t see it that way, I’m not sure I was fully aware of it until this week. You see, I have been trying to cultivate a more keen sense of humility, which in part means keeping my mouth shut on things I really don’t know much about. This is harder work than you might imagine. My oral cavity is a foot magnet.[3] Still, I’m working on it. So when I say something that I think of as pretty innocent like “RAAAYYYY!!!!!” and the reply I get is, “hey Corey remember all the times you said really stupid things about sports”, I find myself way back at the starting line of that journey. Part of me wants to lash out and say, “yeah, I remember that- thanks for the reminder, I appreciate it. Hey, while we are in the neighborhood, shall we go visit some of the moments you wish you could take back?”

         I took the bait and responded. Dumb, dumb, dumb…….. It’s like taking that old soup of sports angst that you were about to throw away and putting it on the front burner. I set the table by saying anything regarding sports. I wish it weren’t so. I wish I could acknowledge Ray’s achievement without inviting the Jinx Card. He is a class act. Now for the remainder of the NBA playoffs, win or lose, I will wear the scarlet J.

[1] I suppose it bears repeating that I support New England teams while my father and brothers support teams from New York.
[2] @Adam: just for the record, I think three years of silence is a huge achievement. I sincerely invite you to match that benchmark..........starting last Monday.
[3] I suppose it could be worse, but there is only so far I am willing to go with an orifice analogy.

No comments:

Post a Comment