Need a bit of good luck?

I’ve been thinking about luck and superstitions and how some crazed football fans go through these insanely idiotic rituals in an attempt to please the gods of chance, when in reality none of these good luck charms affect the action on the field - except for my lucky Elway jersey, which guarantees the Broncos a victory.

I have a lucky beer opener too, but I’m hesitant to mention that because it sounds ridiculous, whereas my lucky jersey — a cotton polyester blend of orange and blue hues worn to ensure an athletic victory 250 miles away by 52 men I’ve never met — sounds much more rational.

I bought it the day before the start of the 1997 Broncos season — the year they won their first Super Bowl. I’m not saying my lucky jersey was the entire reason for the Broncos’ back-to-back NFL championships, but a reasonable person would arrive at that conclusion.

It didn’t get washed until I got married and basically was forced to against my will. I had gone seven years without washing it. It was sort of like my bed sheets.

I don’t take pride in the fact it saw two different millenniums before it saw a washing machine — it’s just that I didn’t want Tide to wipe the good luck off of the jersey. This is the point where some of you are nodding your head, saying, “Finally! Someone understands!” while others of you think I’m a psychopath with hygiene issues.

The latter group includes my wife. She’s told me the idea of a lucky jersey and superstition is ridiculous, but this is coming from a woman who I’ve personally witnessed speaking baby talk to a slot machine.

Gamblers have their own pathetic set of superstitions.

Many Chinese gamblers are known to avoid hotel rooms numbered “4” because it’s bad luck, while some Americans don’t like to stay on the 13th floor. Divas all of them, I say. I’m OK with any hotel room that doesn’t have a police chalk outline on the carpet. And even them I’m flexible if the front desk clerk will throw in the continental breakfast.

A recent Associated Press story about Macau casinos mentioned how Chinese Baccarat players frequently blow on their cards in hopes of getting a winning low hand. They quoted one gambler: “You want a smaller number, so you blow, blow, blow. The reason is to blow away the big numbers. You want to have a small number for yourself.”

That’s the Chinese strategy for Baccarat. And the American strategy for breathalyzers.

Another Chinese superstition says, “A female gambler is more likely to win when she is having her menstrual period.” She’s also more likely to cry and beat you over the head with a wine bottle.

Our American good luck charms are equally pathetic. Finding a four-leaf clover doesn’t mean you’re lucky. It means you have bindweed.

As a kid I had a lucky rabbit’s foot, but that seems sort of sick now. I mean, turn it around. Imagine if you were to go underground into a bunny’s burrow and see a rabbit trying to get good luck by rubbing a severed human foot.

You’ve probably seen Bud Light’s luck-themed ads. In one commercial, some guys watching a football game have to have their beer bottles facing the same way for good luck. A clever ad, but if you find yourself on a couch with four ugly dudes drinking Bud Light, you’re already unlucky in life.

“It’s only weird if it doesn’t work,” goes the tagline, echoing the sentiments of fans like me who are only trying to help out our team.

My wife thinks I’m weird, but since its last washing, my lucky Elway jersey has made the Broncos go 11-2. When I use the lucky beer opener in conjunction with the lucky jersey, they are 5-0.

So who’s the weird one now?

Reach Steve at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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