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Superstition

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By jaysmith
Words 691
Pages 3
When a situation is vague or risky, some people find it comforting to make a routine to give them a sense of security and greater control. This routine has the potential to develop into a ritualistic practice that fluctuates depending on the results. Although some would not admit it, the games of sports have deep roots in the realm of superstitions. It is a game of chance in which players have little control over the outcome of their hard work and fans have an even more reduced role in the result. In normal, daily situations, I do not consider myself a superstitious person. Yet, when I'm watching my favorite sport (basketball) I do find myself engaging in illogical activities. These rituals take control of me and I find myself replicating such actions in hopes of continuing a streak.
I have always been captivated with the thought of luck and sports. However, it was not until I was about 9 years old when at least I thought my superstition held a direct impact on the outcome of a game. I was watching a very important basketball game, Game 6 of the NBA Finals June 14, 1998. The defending champion Chicago Bulls went up against the Utah Jazz. Of course I, like every other kid on the planet was a Bulls fan and more importantly a Michael Jordan fan. The stage was set for Michael and the Bulls to win a third straight title after a two season hideous from Michael to pursue his baseball career. With one minute to go the score was tied 83 – 83. Jordan just hit two big free throws. As the Jazz went up the floor Karl Malone threw a cross court pass to John Stockton and Stockton hit a three point bucket; which was a dagger in the hearts of Bulls fans everywhere. Now with less than 40 seconds left in the game Chicago had the ball again with the ball in Jordan’s hands. Michael goes to the rack and lays the ball up effortlessly in just three seconds to bring the Bulls within one point. The Jazz take the ball down the court and right her is when I start what I know now as “the ritual”. As weird as it may sound I hopped on the floor did three pushups, hopped back up and paced in a circle three times. I think I believed I performed each movement in threes because of the hopes of the Bulls winning three straight championships. As I finished my third lap around my living room something remarkable happened, Karl Malone got the ball in the post and Jordan came from his blind side and stripped the ball from him. Jordan came down the court with 10 seconds to go and one thing on his mind, winning the game. Michael was being guarded by Byron Russell. Mike dribbled right then left with an unbelievable crossover (maybe a little push off, sorry Byron) that left him all alone at the top of the key. Michael rose up and with one of the most iconic moments and sports history drains the basket to put the Bulls up by one point. Utah called a time out with five seconds to go and ran a play to Stockton for three and he bricked the shot off the front rim. After that I couldn’t hold my composure I darted outside screaming “The Bulls won, The Bulls won” until my father quickly told me to get my tail back in the house.
There are things in life that we cannot control, no matter how hard we try. Rituals and superstitions are a way of amplifying our control while creating a comfort zone. Luck comes along once in a while causing people to become aware of the circumstances it shows up under. Routines provide people with a chance to influence destiny and embrace luck. I knew the Bulls would not have won without me and my crazy ritual/superstition, so whenever anyone talks about the famous night in Utah and recalls Jordan’s last shot I simply grin; shake my head in approval and reply “Your Welcome”.…...

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