Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Curse Of The U-Haul

See if you can detect a pattern here ...

January 1999: I move from Michigan to New York City.

March 1999: The Michigan State basketball team reaches its first Final Four in 20 years.
October 1999: The New York Mets lose Game 6 of NLCS.

March 2000: I leave New York and eventually settle in the San Francisco Bay Area.

October 2000: The New York Mets reach the World Series, and lose to the crosstown Yankees.
January 2001: The New York Giants lose Super Bowl XXXV.

February 2002: I leave the SF Bay Area and return to Michigan.

October 2002: The San Francisco Giants lose the World Series in 7 games, to another California team, the Anaheim Angels.
January 2003: The Oakland Raiders lose Super Bowl XXXVII.

September 2006: I move from Michigan to New York City for the second time.

October 2006: The New York Mets lose Game 7 of the NLCS. Eight days later, the Detroit Tigers lose the World Series.

Do you see what's going on here? Whenever I move from one state to another, the sports teams that I leave behind have an uncanny ability to ascend to the championship round of their sport. There's only one problem: they never win. They all reached the next final after I left town, but each of them lost and—except for MSU basketball—none of them have returned to claim a championship. Was my presence holding these teams back (I definitely seem to hampering the Mets) or was my absence the reason they couldn't reach the summit? Is it a special brand of jinx, that teases you with unexpected success, only to end in heartbreak? Why can't any of them play this well while I'm living there so I can enjoy it more?

I was beginning to worry that this pattern might repeat itself ad infinitum until ...


Another team I left behind, Michigan State's hockey squad, reached the NCAA championship game. Naturally I predicted a rousing defeat, yet somehow—inexplicably—they won! In spectacular fashion, I might add. Could the curse be broken? Or does it only produce winners in hockey? [see endnote]. Will Michigan-based sports teams continue to thrive this year? Or only to second-place form? (Obviously, the Lions are exempt. Mighty Zeus himself could not undo what Millen hath wrought.)

Anyway, if the city councils of any aspiring sports towns would like to test this theory, first by setting me up for a year or so, then paying me to relocate somewhere far away, I'm entertaining all offers. Unless you are Chicago. All of your teams can continue to suck it ... although watching the Cubs lose a heartbreaking World Series would be endlessly entertaining.

Note #1: There are a few caveats to this phenomenon. The New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup in 2000 (the year after I left the New York City metro area) and the Detroit Red Wings won it the year I moved back to Michigan (2002). But even though I like hockey, I've never really followed it that closely, so perhaps that weakens the jinx factor. Also, the New York Yankees did win the Series both the year I lived in and the year I left New York, but I hate them. So my emotional attachment to the teams in question is definitely a factor. As a final example, during my first term in Manhattan, the 8th-seeded New York Knicks made an unbelievable run to the NBA finals, lost, and have since become the laughing stock of the league. However, that was the season that was cut short by a lockout, which led to my vow to never watch an NBA game again. (A promise I've kept, by the way.) Coincidence? Who knows, but all these cases still fit within the overall pattern: bring me to your city, and your teams will do well. Kick me out, and they'll do even better.


Anna said...

Hahahaha. The Lions suck.

Go Pack Go!


4/10/2007 6:41 AM  

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