"I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious." — Michael Scott, The Office
If there's a TV character whose lifestyle and social style I least want to emulate, it's probably Michael Scott. Oddly enough, though, the sometimes bumbling, sometimes step-in-shit lucky boss of Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch pretty much nails how I feel about karma and the silly little random wrinkles of the sports universe's ethos.
Am I superstitious to the extreme extent where I have to be wearing the same shirt, sitting in the same chair or drinking the same brand of alcohol during every win by my team (until it stops working)? No, no I'm not. Am I a believer, though, in the cosmic punishment doled out by the sports gods for counting your chickens before they hatch? Yes, one billion percent, I am. When you gamble on sports for as many decades and for as much cumulative money as I have, you know that nothing is final until the buzzer sounds.
Karma's death row is littered with aborted parlay tickets. Or, as the late Yogi Berra once said, it's not over till it's over.
So when the Astros took a 6-2 lead on the Royals heading into the eighth inning on Monday afternoon in game 4 of the ALDS, six outs away from an improbable ALCS appearance, amidst a sea of premature Twitter celebration, I warned Astros Twitter:
Crap, way too much "already in the ALCS" stuff on my timeline… c'mon people. Stay in the now.— Sean Pendergast (@SeanTPendergast) October 12, 2015
Still, many of you didn't listen. There were people surfing ticket sites for ALCS tickets, there were television stations tweeting out plans to carry the post-game celebration live, and there were Astros fans inexplicably talking trash to Royals fans, Rangers fans and fans of pretty much any other professional baseball team, most of those teams historically far more successful than the Astros. Fortunately (or unfortunately, maybe), I lived through Game 6 of the 1986 World Series as a Red Sox fan, when the Sox were one strike away from exorcising a then-nearly 70-year curse, so i knew better.
We all know how that ended…
So I know about karma, I know about the baseball gods wagging their fingers and smacking us on the wrist and telling us that we are not supposed to have our celebratory feast until dinner time has truly arrived. Astros fans, at least those not hip to these cosmic rules, didn't understand this yesterday.
Like most failures, ultimately any breakdown comes from a lack of leadership, so I don't blame you, Randy McIlvoy, for tweeting out Channel 2's plans to carry the champagne celebration (TWEET DELETED!). I don't blame the handful of contrite, brave souls who admitted they did exactly what I warned them not to do...
@SeanTPendergast I won't lie, I celebrated early. It hurts so bad!— Kyle Dixon (@asvpkeelay) October 12, 2015
You at least admitted your failure! It's the frightened cowards who anonymously skulked back into their Twitter corners to suck their thumbs until game 5 who are the problem! Well, them and our governor here in Texas, and this is where the aforementioned failure in leadership enters the conversation. After the seventh inning, a now deleted tweet came from the VERIFIED office Twitter of Governor Greg Abbott. OBSERVE:
Oops...The office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted a congratulatory message to Astros when they were up, 6-2. pic.twitter.com/iwCDk5IhKu— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 12, 2015
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?! This is an impeachable offense, right?!?!?
As if that weren't bad enough, the only thing worse was the governor himself tweeting from his personal VERIFIED account, telling fans to unfollow his office account, and begging them to understand he only supports the teams, he doesn't jinx them!
Yes, baseball tragedy yesterday drove the governor of a state to troll his own office on Twitter! If you take a whiff, you can practically smell the fear that every vote from every right-thinking sports fan in the biggest city in the state was slipping through his fingers. Well, at least the ones who hadn't already checked out after Abbott said that SAUCE is what makes for good barbecue, blaspheme if ever there were blaspheme!
So don't blame yourselves, Astros fans. Do what most of society does, and blame the government! The moral of this story, of course, is that the coolest Greg Abbott is really this guy….
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STAY AT LEAST A LITTLE STITIOUS FOR GAME 5, HOUSTON!!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.