Sports fans have some crazy superstitions, and I’m no exception. I can tell you exactly when I where mine started too – September 5, 1983. Monday Night Football. Cowboys at Redskins. And yes, to answer your question, I did have to look it up, but I do remember the game, the score, and the where it was, so it was pretty easy to find. As a kid growing up in New York City, I was actually a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. You can stop it with the laughs. I have matured, and that passion is now a distant memory.
At halftime, the defending Super Bowl Champion Redskins (uggh, still makes me puke) were pummeling my ‘Boys 23-3. Theismann, the “Fun Bunch,” and big John Riggins were doing their thing, running roughshod over the Dallas defense. Suddenly, my mom said to me, “Chad, time for bed. It’s a school night.” I was in middle school at the time and begrudgingly went to bed, disappointed with my team. But I thought there was still something I could do to reverse my team’s misfortunes.
I had this awesome bed comforter that I loved. It was a dark navy blue on one side, and bright red on the other. As you might recall, the Cowboys wear all blue when they’re on the road. The Redskins were wearing their burgundy and gold. The first thing I did when I got to my bedroom was take anything and everything red in color and get it out of my sight. Then I made sure my comforter laid flat on top of me, navy blue side up, red completely out of view. When I woke up the next morning, I ran to the television and flipped on CNN Headline News to hear Nick Charles recap the highlights from the game I had missed the night before. Wouldn’t you know it? Cowboys quarterback Danny White had gone crazy in the 2nd half and led Dallas to a 31-30 comeback victory. At that moment, I was convinced that my actions, my superstitions, were the reason my Cowboys had won the game.
Today, my superstitions have subsided a bit. But there are some I just can’t let go of. First, you will NEVER see me wearing a replica jersey, t-shirt, or shorts of my favorite team. I’m not saying I don’t have them. I have them. I just don’t wear them on game day, especially when I’m in attendance. And second, I never wear the primary color of my favorite team. I wear the secondary one.
Let me explain. I’m a huge University of Arizona fan. I’m an alum. The Wildcats’ colors are cardinal (red, who are we kidding?) and navy (dark blue). 99.9% of the crowd wears red to Arizona games, but I always wear navy. I will never wear anything that has to do with the Redskins. At the 1997 NCAA Final Four when Arizona beat Kentucky in the National Championship in “Intheanapolis” (thank you, Charles Barkley), I wore a plain, dark blue Old Navy t-shirt both games. I washed it between games, and Arizona won them both that long weekend!
Other superstitions of mine include wearing a certain color underwear on game day, not showering within two hours of game time, and never telling my mom when the games are on because my team always seems to lose when she watches. Or maybe I’m afraid she’s going to call me to bed because it’s a school night.
About the Special Guest Commentator
Chad Ackerman was born, raised, and sports afflicted in New York City proper. Chad graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree with a degree in Communications and a love of all things Wildcats. He has never had the opportunity to work in sports, but he’s not shy about sharing his knowledge and passion for the games and the sports he loves – from New York Yankees baseball to New York Rangers hockey. Chad also has an uncanny ability to project which college basketball players will best translate to the NBA. Chad met Dan at a Phoenix Suns job fair last year. Both agree that their friendship is the best thing to come out of that night.