Superstition

uscellularfield0607
my view – US Cellular Field – 6/7/2015 – Tigers 6, White Sox 4 FINAL

I love sports. Football is my favorite sport, followed closely by baseball and auto racing, though auto racing does not get my interest as much it once did. The truth is that I enjoy just about any kind of competition.

Last week, I was invited to go to the White Sox game and tailgate with a group of men. I knew one of the men, Mark a teacher at my school; the other two were teachers in my district from other schools I didn’t know. The four men go to a White Sox game at least once a year and tailgate; they even travel to see an NFL game together. I joined because, Kip, one of the men, was sick, he has ALS and couldn’t attend. We had a good time, but for the entire trip, I was Kip. The trip was a ritual of sorts – getting ready, driving downtown, the seats in the van – I sat in Kip’s seat, parking in the same spot, setting up, cooking, eating, picking up, even to playing a game of beanbag toss. I had a good time, but the Sox lost.

it started as dreary rainy morning  and ended a bright sunny day
it started as dreary rainy morning and ended a bright sunny day

On the way out of the ballpark one of the guys remarked,

“You know, every time we come, they lose. Maybe we shouldn’t come as a group!”

“Nah, that’s not it, the Sox suck. The pitcher gave it away today.”

And so on, the conversation trailed off and we were on our way home. I sat in Kip’s seat and talked to Mark – our kids are close in age and we were both in the same fantasy football league at school. We go out for a beer once or twice a year, when we can.

I am not superstitious. Well, maybe I am, just a little. I am like those three men who have their seating spots and their pre-game rituals. I am creature of habit and as a kid, I never stepped on the white lines between home base and first or third and home when I walked off the baseball field, or stepped on the lines on the tennis court when changing sides. Bad luck.

School ended yesterday and I am out for summer. Normally, I am an early riser, but I slept in this morning and woke up at 8:15 AM. I had a panic about 5:55 AM, and got up to make sure W was up and out the door, but he’d already gotten up and left, so I went back to sleep.

On a normal school day, it would be the end of third period advanced science and my fourth period advanced science would be coming in to class. Then there would be lunch, history class, and then I had lunch duty with the sixth graders at 1 PM. Lunch duty was fun, for the most part. The kids were loud and excited, lunch is really the only unstructured part of their day outside of the two or three minutes they get between classes, and lunch is always over before they know it. The day before Spring Break, the lunchroom was rowdy and loud, much louder than normal as the sixth graders couldn’t wait for the school to let out and a week away from school to begin. I decided to try something new, and I pulled out my iPhone and began to play “Happy” by Pharrell Williams over the loudspeakers and the room calmed as the kids began to sing.

That moment was the beginning of Song Friday. Every Friday, I’d play song requests for the sixth graders and they would listen, sing, and dance. One Friday, one of the kids requested “Chelsea Dagger” by The Fratellis – because it’s the song the Chicago Blackhawks play after they score a goal and the Blackhawks were playing that night. They won the game and thus, a new ritual was born. We played “Chelsea Dagger” every lunch period before every Blackhawks game, I missed one and they lost.

Ray, one of the teachers I have lunch duty with, is a big Blackhawks fan – I root for the Blackhawks, but I don’t have any Blackhawks clothing – shirts or caps. I just root, and play the Chelsea Dagger before each game. Ray would wear his jersey on every game day – many of the kids would, too. Sometimes, it was a sea of red across the lunchroom. One afternoon, he reminded me to play the song, but instead I started with “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder and we exchanged smiles. The kids didn’t get my joke, but Ray did. After Stevie sang, I played “Chelsea Dagger.” The Hawks won.

The Hawks are in the Finals playing for the Stanley Cup. They have a losing streak going. They lost Saturday night and again Monday night. We played the song, the Hawks lost bit times. I can’t play the song at school – we’re out. Tonight the Hawks play at home and they’re on their own.

A few years ago, Budweiser ran a Super Bowl advertisement and ad campaign called “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.” The Super Bowl was in New Orleans between the Ravens and the 49ers. New Orleans is known for its raised cemeteries and voodoo culture, which the advertisement plays on. Stevie Wonder plays the role of the witch doctor in the commercial. It’s a subtle way to sell beer. Getting the brand out and getting folks to laugh. The Ravens won the game.

Last Saturday, on the way to O’s softball game, I stopped and took the picture below. I posted the photo to Facebook and several of my friends commented – it’s fun. The Hawks lost Saturday night, and again Monday night. Maybe I should shut it down. It’s only weird if it doesn’t work. As Stevie sang……

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then we suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way.

stanleycup

Its’ a great song, great tune, it’s got a great beat, good to pound your feet to, but it’s old school, released in 1972 the song made it to number one on the pop and soul charts.

Anyway, it is the first day of summer. Day 1 of 68 days of summer, the kids have sports camps and I have a list a mile long and it’ll get done, eventually. The Hawks play again tonight, O has a softball game this evening both games are must wins. So, I had better get a moving and cross some those chores off the list. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, a ritual here, a ritual there, even when it doesn’t seem to make sense.

Do you have a superstition or ritual? Care to share?

Superstition
Written by Stevie Wonder

Very superstitious, writings on the wall,
Very superstitious, ladders bout’ to fall,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin’ glass,
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past.

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then we suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way.

Very superstitious, wash your face and hands,
Rid me of the problems, do all that you can,
Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin’ strong,
You don’t want to save me, sad is my song.

When you believe in things you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way, yeh, yeh.

Very superstitious, nothin’ more to say,
Very superstitious, the devil’s on his way,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin’ glass,
Seven years of bad luck, good things in your past.

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way, no, no, no.

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11 thoughts on “Superstition

    1. I was almost embarrassed to admit my own superstitions after I read the lyrics – Stevie Wonder wrote the song to poke fun at another musician who was superstitious! Like you, I don’t share other people’s news on the premise that I might derail it. Omens – even Shakespeare wrote about them. By the way, the Blackhawks won the championship and O’s team won their first playoff game! Enjoy your week – the first day of summer, is just around the corner!

    1. Thank you. I remember the ad during the Super Bowl and Bud still runs the ad campaign – it’s clever and pokes fun at sports fans everywhere. I still don’t drink Bud Light though. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week – keep making those days count.

    1. The Sox have a a tough road to hoe, but it’s a long season. I’ve been listening to Stevie Wonder belt out “Superstition” for many years and never looked at the lyrics – I stopped doing that when music went digital (and I got old). When I was writing this post, I discovered that the song was written to poke fun at Jeff Beck who developed the opening drum riff and later recorded his own version on an album released in 1972. I prefer Stevie’s version. I have more superstitions than I’ll admit – but here’s one – I NEVER make a quiz or assignment worth 13 points. 12 or 14, but never 13! Have a wonderful week.

  1. That’s probably my favorite Stevie Wonder song. I’m not familiar with the others you mentioned, but then again, I’m more of a country music lover so I guess that makes sense.

    Enjoy your summer and go Hawks! (Don’t tell my husband I said that, he’d kill me. He’s a Sharks fan from way back.)

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. I agree “Superstition” is one of my favorites – beat, tempo, and sound – but then there is “Higher Ground” and “Uptight.” The Hawks won and O’s softball team lost it in the top of top of the 7th and scored only 2 runs needing 3 to tie. It was probably their best game of the season. Softball playoffs begin Monday night and the Hawks play again Saturday in Tampa. Have a great week.

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?