Tag Archive: derrick rose

The Jinx

June 18, 2012 Adam Thomas

Article By the Wolfman

All too often in following sports we attribute outcomes (at least in my family and circle of friends) to things that we do during the course of a game. When things are going wrong we switch jerseys, change seats, flip channels, or turn our hats backwards. Of course, we are usually hundreds of miles away from where these events take place, often thousands, so it is very unlikely that we have any real impact on the outcome whatsoever. Yet, for some reason every time Randy writes something positive about the Sixers we all cringe. And more often than not, they lose. And we, more often than not, blame Randy.

During a Raiders game long ago, my family became extremely annoyed with Cris Collinsworth’s badmouthing of the Raiders. Suddenly in a fit of royal genius, I remembered I had an old Collinsworth card somewhere in my old collection of football cards, stuffed in old Utz pretzel barrels, in my folk’s basement. Without hesitation I retrieved his card, and my father, brother (Adam of this blog), and I ceremoniously sent the card into our fireplace.

The Raiders record since that occurrence: 6-125. The Collinsworth jinx is severely strong.

Just kidding. My last entry was stat heavy; in this one the stats will be largely fictionalized.

This year, just before the Bulls vs. Sixers playoff series, a friend of mine who is a Bulls fan, sent a text to me saying, “Even if Rose (Derrick) tears his ACL, we’ll still crush you.” I replied of course, “You better hope that doesn’t happen now.” Forty-seven basketball minutes later, with a decent sized lead, we know what happened to poor Mr. Rose.

So did my friend’s historically horrific karmic text set into motion events that wounded one of the best NBA players in the league? Or was that just the way it was meant to be?

Probably the latter. After all, Rose had been hurt off and on all season. He jumped and landed awkwardly, and that was that. Still, I’m sure my friend regrets that text, much more so than I regret eating half a Red Baron pizza last night – and that is quite a bit of regret.

Of course, every sports fan knows that the only way to combat a jinx is with a reverse jinx. One way, is to overtly get overly complimentary and admit defeat before a game even begins – while in the back of your mind knowing and counting on the opposite outcome.  Here is the best example I have seen to date (and it was against me in a fantasy football championship):

No jinxing involved. His team put up 276 more points than mine (the second best team) during the regular season. He is clearly going to win this weekend and Vercengetorix is going to go down as one of the most dominant teams in the history of our league. This match seems to merely be a formality.

(Three full paragraphs omitted. No joke.)

Despite the fact that we aren’t going to win a championship, my team has had a good run this year. We persevered through some injuries and disappointments (I’m looking at you McFadden and Freeman), and I think we proved we can compete for championships when we pay attention week in, week out (a problem for me in recent seasons). We look forward to building on this momentum next year.

Obviously, I couldn’t compete against a reverse jinx that strong – this reverse jinx even referenced itself in the opening statement. It had statistical analysis, shaky knees, and even a concession of defeat. I tried to counter this strong reverse jinx with an all out freeze out. No messages. And I lost. The reverse jinx was too strong. My other mistake was naming my team after a Gaul chieftain, Vercengetorix, who eventually was defeated by Caesar.

So, where does that leave us?

For review, here is how the two forms of jinxing work again. In both cases you first have to assume that universe is going to do everything in its power to prove you wrong. With a jinx you merely state something, usually positive, about a team or outcome. For example, the Patriots are so good this year, there is no way they can possible lose the Superbowl. Outcome, the Patriots lose the Superbowl.

With a reverse jinx, you invite the universe to prove you wrong, to better a team or outcome. For example, the Phillies have had a tough year, despite there being no chance at a Championship this year, we had a good run over the past few years and look forward to getting everyone back healthy. Outcome, TBD.

So do I believe in this hocus pocus? Not really. I mean, how many people out there have experienced something similar? Probably everyone. But that is the point. If we are all jinxing and reverse-jinxing each other, which one ultimately wins out?


Just in case.

To everyone I will ever compete against in fake sports. Your teams are just too strong. We had a good run, but it is just not our time, from now until infinity. We strongly thank you for inviting us to compete in this league, and we will give it our best shot next season, from now until infinity.

And if anyone out there has a Cris Collisnworth card, we are active buyers.


Like That Bron-Bron? Had That Long Time Ago.

May 25, 2011 Randy Neil

Good lord. Lebron James and the Miami Heat are definitely going to win a championship now. Whatever life the Bulls were trying to salvage was crushed last night.

Derrick Rose attempted to ‘be more aggressive’ in the game, and it worked, for a bit. The first half, Rose was dunking on fools, dropping sweet jumpers, and dishing out great assists. The second half, Lebron James basically shut down everything Rose was trying to do, and Chicago didn’t have ‘a big 2’ to fall back on.

James is a scary man (aside from that very feminine embrace he had with Wade.) You could see the confidence breaking in the Bulls, and Lebron made sure to jabber in the ear of every Chicago player in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. It was degrading. James can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, including that block on Rose that acted as an exclamation point for his defense. You can’t talk shit back when you’re getting beat up. Rose was getting beat up.

Just be thankful I didn’t write a rebuttle post to my own post and go back on my Heat prediction. It was insane listening to these analysts praise the Chicago defense after game 1, writing off the Heat as if they weren’t capable of adjusting match-ups. Charles Barkely practically gave Chicago the series after game 1, and now that game looks like eons ago. Stick to your guns.

It also appears that my OKC prediction is officially doomed. By the hands of it’s own players. The power struggle that was brewing between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook has exploded, and most of us didn’t even know it was there in the first place.

I keep remembering a discussion from PTI from about a year ago. Kornheiser brought up Durant’s emergence in a small-market team and the likelihood that he would stay in Oklahoma. Him and Wilbon were wondering if the NBA’s leading scorer would remain with the franchise, and that’s when Westbrook’s name was brought up. Durant already publicly announced his desire to stay in Oklahoma, but nobody was sure about Westbrook.

I’m not sure if the media is blowing up this story or if this is an underlying problem that has been brought to the forefront because of the playoffs, but it’s here. And it’s a big one.

My prediction – Dallas runs over the deflated Thunder, Miami runs over the deflated Bulls, Miami wins the Finals in 5 games. Just like 06′, Dirk ain’t gettin’ his ring at the hands of the Heat.

So with basketball practically written off, summer can officially start and baseball season can finally be the full-focus sport for me. This coincides perfectly with Utley’s return off the DL, and I’m going to say something that might possibly get me thrown out of a very high building but…

I would rather (GASP) have Wilson Valdez (WHAT) at 2nd base, than Chase Utley (GOSH) on defense (oh.)

It sounds kinda crazy right? Hear me out.

Wilson Valdez is an insanely better defensive second basemen than Chase Utley. Last year, they played about an equal amount of games, Utley (114) to Valdez’s (105.) Utley had committed 11 errors to Valdez’s 3. I need to remind our readers that this doesn’t include the 2010 post-season. This doesn’t include Utley’s miserable error from Sanchez (THEIR PITCHER) in the 2011 National League Championship. I’m still convinced he single-handedly ruined that series with not only his horrific fielding (3 errors,) but his ‘flipping’ of the ball after being hit by a pitch that almost started a brawl that ended Sanchez’s night (right before he was about to get lit up with 2 on and 0 outs.)

Valdez also boasts a better fielding percentage. In Valdez’s fielding chances (which are less, mind you, because he also played SS and 3B for a part of last year) he turned more double plays and had more assists than Utley throughout the year as well. Thank you baseball-reference.com.

Hitting on the other hand….. Valdez is batting a dismal .234 with 9 RBIs and 0 HRs this season. Utley would destroy those numbers in the first two months of the season.

Just to put things in perspective though, I learned an interesting fact a few days ago from my colleague Mr. Thomas. Chase Utley has spent pretty much all of spring training and the first two months of the season on the DL with a knee injury. Andre Iguodala, Philly’s least favorite athlete, played the remaining month of the season and all of the playoffs with the very same injury.

Utley, beloved. Iguodala, hated. Obviously, both sports are incredibly strenuous on a knee, but Utley gets a pass for his recovery time, and Iggy is scorned for his role on the Sixers. Just keep that in mind.

I’m not starting a hate-wagon, just trying to bring some people’s love-fest back to Earth. I would always put in Utley over Valdez, but I wish he was our DH and Valdez was our 2B. Call me crazy.

Go forth and enjoy your day! Tonight, the Phillies try to win the series against the Reds with Halladay on the mound. First pitch is at 7 P.M.