The Curse of the Certified Letter

Baseball is a sport of superstition. Players refuse to step on the foul line when going on or off of

the field

. Wade Boggs was known for eating chicken before

every game

. Teammates don’t talk to the pitcher throwing

the no-hitter

. Pedro Cerrano and

Jobu

.

And let’s not forget the now banished Curse of the Bambino, or the Cubs Billy Goat Curse.

But I bet none of you have heard of the Curse of the Certified Letter. So allow me to educate you...

It’s March of 2000. The Astros are preparing to move into a brand spanking new pleasure palace in downtown Houston. And all of those little people who have worked for the Astros in some fashion or another for many years are excited about moving into the fresh new digs.

Until this one day, when they all start coming home from their real jobs to discover this little green card in their mailboxes. It’s a certified letter card, telling them that they’ve got a letter from the Houston Astros just waiting for them to come by and pick up and sign for.

So, they go to the post office and sign the form and get their letter. Only it’s not a letter. It’s a copy of a computer-generated memo (a photocopy of a computer-generated memo) thanking them for their years of service, but telling them that those services will no longer be required at Drayton’s new pleasure palace. But, they’re all welcome to apply for their old positions if they so desire, though nothing is guaranteed.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way that something like this ever happened. Surely the Chron would’ve reported something like this. And besides, they’re always telling us about what a great guy Drayton McLane is. Well, rest assured, it did happen. And I know this for a fact because I was just one of the many who received this photocopy of a computer-generated memo by certified mail.

Now, I was lucky in that I was given a new job at the pleasure palace then known as Enron Field. But I knew many people who weren’t as lucky. And one of these people was a friend of mine from the Astrodome DiamondVision crew. And this guy, well, he’d been around for a long time, since the early 80s. And he didn’t really care about the treatment he received from Drayton.

So he went to a Voodoo priestess. And he had her do some kind of spell that involved chickens and blood and incantations. And, well, the team was cursed.

But the ‘Stros went to the Series in 2005, you’re saying. What kind of curse is that? Well, remember, even with the Curse of the Bambino, the Red Sox still went to the World Series several times, and because of the way the Astros were cursed, it was still possible for the Astros to reach the World Series.

The team just couldn’t win.

The Curse of the Certified Letter, as it’s been explained to me, is simple: whenever the Astros get the fans to believing that anything is possible – a World Championship, Clemens isn’t a prick, Biggio is a team player, etc. – the team must then dash their hopes.

And this Curse will continue as long as Drayton owns the team. So, no matter what moves the team makes, there’s only move that will lead to a World Championship, and that move involves Drayton McLane selling the team.

So, keep that in mind, Astros fans. The only answer to your prayers involves new Astros ownership, and I just don’t see that happening anytime soon. I hope that all of you are okay with waiting for awhile.

Oh, and Texans fans, don’t getting your hopes up either. Let’s just say that this same guy placed a curse on the Texans for as long as Bob McNair owns the team – that whole Mario Williams draft pick suddenly makes sense now, doesn’t it?

But I don’t think that he’s cursed the Rockets. That team’s just screwed itself up on its own. – John Royal

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