Football

Normally, my husband watches the really important Alabama football games over at a friend’s house. He enjoys the company, plus they have a bigger TV.

But on Monday, my husband will watch Alabama play Georgia for the national championship at home, without the company of his friend.

That’s because the last two times they watched major Alabama games together, the Tide lost, first to Clemson in the 2017 national championship, then to Auburn in the 2017 Iron Bowl.

Clearly, this was their fault. They had jinxed the team.

Something needed to change, so they decided that they would go to their separate houses to watch Alabama play Clemson in last week’s semifinal game. If that didn’t work, their next step would be to swap houses. If that didn’t work, they would try wearing their hats inside out.

Aren’t we all glad Alabama won that game?

The two had a few other rituals when watching games together. My husband would always sit in the same chair, trying not to yell too loudly because it scares the dog.

If their sons were also watching the game, the four of them would celebrate Alabama touchdowns by jumping in the air and bumping shoulders. They each had to go around the room and bump shoulders with every other person — like clinking glasses on New Year’s Eve.

(This ritual was temporarily suspended if any wives or daughters happened to be present.)

Back in high school, my husband and his football teammates had a more complex ritual. The day before game day, as they carpooled home from school, they would take turns leaning out the window and throwing soda bottles at road signs. If they didn’t hit enough signs, they would jinx the game.

One day, they had missed so many signs, they stopped the car at the city limits sign and sent somebody out to stand right in front of it and hit it with a bottle.

The wide world of sports is a superstitious place, from rally caps to playoff beards to lucky socks.

Back in 2010, ESPN reported that Alabama coach Nick Saban received a lucky penny from his daughter before every game, and wore the same tattered straw hat to every practice. The team’s offensive coordinator wrote the names of family members on sticks of gum, which he then kept in his pocket for games.

I’ve never been much of a football person (except for Super Bowl commercials), which is why my husband prefers to watch games with his friends.

But on Monday, I’m going to stay home with my husband and  try to watch an entire Alabama football game. I will even get up and bump shoulders after the touchdowns if I need to.

Unless you think that might jinx it?

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or ldavis@annistonstar.com.

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.

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