Have I ever told you about my family’s jersey curse?
We are cursed. In the realm of sports jerseys. The home I grew up in was not particularly sports-loving. My dad watched sports a lot and even played basketball and softball in leagues when we were young, but I can’t say my mother was ever interested in athletics competition. The love of sports – and not the aptitude for athletics – was passed on to my sister and I (completely and totally skipping my brother by about 50 football fields har har har).
Lisa and I love to watch sports – football, baseball, basketball. I’ve written about my passion before. It naturally follows that we identify with certain teams and, eventually, certain players on those teams. Sometimes, it’s enough to lead us to purchase a jersey.
The curse began in 2003, the year my sister broke down and bought a Marty Booker authentic jersey just weeks before the Chicago Bears opened their season. And, it turned out, weeks before Booker was traded to the Dolphins. Curse #1. Fortunately for her, she moved to Fort Lauderdale soon after, and her jersey was actually supporting a local player. Unfortunately for her, she moved to Pittsburgh last year and, prior to the move, donated the jersey to Goodwill. Just months before Booker was traded back to the Bears. Curse #2.
Last year, after doing a careful situational analysis and several seasons of debating the likelihood of a future trade, I broke down and asked for a Chicago Cubs Michael Barrett jersey for Mother’s Day. I considered asking for Carlos Zambrano’s numbers, but the lifespan of a pitcher with a single team is not something to bet on like that, so I went with Barrett. Four weeks later, he and Zambrano got into fisticuffs in the dugout. Two weeks after that, he was traded to the San Diego Padres. He is currently injured and playing in the minor leagues. Curse #2.
When Dave and I moved away from SmallTown, Indiana to the big city, he left behind a community that pledged allegiance to his beloved St. Louis Cardinals to join a city that bleeds Cubbie blue. To make it up to him, I purchased a Scott Rolen jersey. Rolen was traded to the Blue Jays last year. Granted, it took nearly four years for the curse to catch up with him. But there it was. We theorize that because he simply married in to the family, the effect isn’t as strong.
My sister says she’s putting out in the universe statements like she “absolutely doesn’t want a Sidney Crosby Penguins jersey” and she “really hopes Ben Roethlisberger gets traded sometime soon.” Just to see if the reverse happens.