Sports Briefs: Curses Foiled Again

(Originally published May 13, 2011, sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

Chris: If there is one thesis that will make Jason Voorhees put down his newspaper and log on to a highly ecstasizing piece of journalism, I would suggest either a Friday the 13th sports expose or today's weather report.

Joe: Superstitions in professional sports can be a positive mental aspect of a player's performance. But the superstition should always be about the positive and give good feelings to the player.

Ralphie: I think it's kinda weird.

Chris: Weird perfectly describes Nomar Garciaparra's tap-dancing ritual in the batter's box and Todd Burns fondling and openly groping his hat before each pitch. Horseshoes or four-leaf clovers would have been wise investments Major League Baseball could have provided its superstitious players. But thanks to Garciaparra, Burns and others, fans had the pleasuring of witnessing what it would be like if Ray Babbitt ever played sports.

Joe: Negative superstitions can only led to negative thoughts and adversely affect the player's mental attitude and performance.

Chris: Chicago Cubs fan Billy Sianis, Billy Sianis' goat and Babe Ruth all seemed to be fond of curses, which are also commonly known as cash cows.

Ralphie: No not really. I don't think so.

Joe: Sports curses - oh those Cubbies. They exist and are the example of negative mental attitudes that can be created. Just last week in the Kentucky Derby, the trainer of the Arch horse drew the No. 1 post position and immediately said he hated that post position at Churchill. What happened - horse stumbled and broke a bone, taken off in ambulance.

Chris: Sunderland AFC's mascot is a black cat, and they have not won a trophy since 1973. The Los Angeles Clippers have had two winning seasons since moving to California in 1984, which was the same year "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" was released. The Cigarette Smoking Man on "The X-Files" was responsible for the Buffalo Bills never winning the Super Bowl. And apparently, horseshoes are not good luck for equines.

Ralphie: I think it's all in your head.

Chris: John Madden may or may not sleep under a ladder before choosing someone for the cover of his video game.

Joe: The only thing that could be termed a superstition is that I like the lower numbers on my golf balls (1, 2, 3, and 4), because they all represent good golf scores. I never want to play a golf ball with the number 8.

Chris: I never liked to wear a number in the 50s while playing basketball. Sporting the same number as a linebacker while wearing a tight, sleeveless jersey and shorts that barely came past my underwear was remarkably embarrassing.

Ralphie: And if you are worrying about wearing your lucky underwear or whatever to win the game, then you aren't paying attention to your game play.

Joe: Hey Brad - when you write your column, do always wear the same underwear?

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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