On Jinxing Your Team by Tuning into the Game

Left: MSU's Larry Caper scoring the winning touchdown in OT against the Michigan Wolverines (photo by Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)

I am sad to report that the University Of Michigan's four-game winning streak came to an end in a 26-20 overtime loss to Michigan State University. The loss is even tougher since Michigan came back from a 20-6 late fourth quarter deficit to tie the game as regulation ended.

Yet I think I may have jinxed the Wolverines in their loss.

You see, I had not been watching the game, and I kept checking in online at I saw that the score went from 20-6 to 20-13, and then I followed the progress online, virtually watching young Tate Forcier guide the Michigan offense to a touchdown with seconds to go, making the game 20-20.

That is when I gave up work on my dissertation and frantically began searching the cable for the game. After all, I thought, this was a game that was bordering on the epic, and for Michigan to come back and pull out a road win after being down by 14 points late in the game was something for a fan like me to behold.

Unfortunately, as soon as I found the game hidden away on the Big Ten Network (Buckeye Cablevision channel 645-HD), Michigan fell apart. First there was the tipped interception, and then Michigan State score a game-winning OT touchdown.

Sorry, Michigan fans: I blew the game by tuning in late. The team played just fine until I switched from online updates to watching the game live. It is now time for this shame-ridden fan to start looking for Manhattan hotels in which to hide until the team wins again.

The only possible exception to my jinx-guilt is the fact that some South Asian telemarketer interrupted my overtime game-watching with some annoying questions. Perhaps had I not been pestered by this outsourced, underpaid call center worker, my full psychic powers could have been transferred to the Michigan Wolverines, and they actually would have won the game.

I think I like the blame-the-Gujarati-worker scenario better: I can thump my nationalistic chest and avoid culpability.