In the 1970s and 1980s, my family had the standard assortment of
appliances and aesthetically questionable decor. There was our
harvest gold refrigerator and blue bathtub. Pong was undoubtedly
the most technologically advanced game ever manufactured. And most
telling of all was the era-exclusive, wooden-encased television.
To be clear, we had one television. One.
With six people constantly battling to watch their favorite
shows, I was the low kid on the totem pole. It was quite the coup
whenever I actually caught an episode of "Donny and Marie" or
Despite my preferences for variety shows and cartoons, the
prevailing programming in our home was sports. My two brothers and
father would plead their case to watch "the big game" every other
day. Consequently, I bid adieu to "Barbara Mandrell and the
Mandrell Sisters" and morphed into a sports enthusiast myself. I
cheered both the Cubs and the Sox. I was devastated when Walter
Payton was denied a touchdown in Super Bowl XX. And in 1995, I
missed the only class of my entire college career in order to watch
the coverage of Michael Jordan's glorious return to basketball.
I had no idea that this love of sports would one day help
"score" me a husband. This fact was discovered only after Joe and I
had been married several years. We were in the middle of a
particularly tense period where I was an insufferable beast due to
hormones and back-to-back babies. Joe set me off one day with
something as grievous as "Where are the diapers?"
I shouted back, "Why did you even MARRY me if you think I'm so
Without missing a beat, Joe responded simply, "You liked
I know there are plenty of superstitious and ritualistic fans
out there who firmly believe the destiny of their team rests with
them. If they don't sit on the right couch, wear their 20-year-old
jersey, or eat an exact combination of Nachos and Oreos, all hope
is lost. I would like to say to those people rooting for the
I got this one.
With a do-or-die Game 7 tonight, I am in sole possession of the
precise key to victory.
My son Jack.
It all started with Game #5 and the possible end of the
Blackhawks' season. When the opportunity to buy a pair of tickets
came up, I pounced. My husband had been making the playoffs
painful. He screamed, cursed the fates, and threw things at the
television. He was in utter disbelief that this most prodigious of
teams, the very one that had so dominated the regular season, was
now self-destructing at record pace.
But worst then that?
My husband was destroying my happy mojo.
Happy mojos win games. It is a proven fact. I'll write a
research paper on it one day.
Anyway, I needed to get the guy out of the house. So I sent my
lucky child with him - it would be Jack's first Blackhawks game.
For the record, my middle son is also the kid who wins every
raffle, always gets picked by the teacher to "go first," and who
will one day be chosen to carry the Olympic Torch.
The Hawks dominated Game #5, and I knew Jack was the reason. It
was as clear as the crow's feet on my face.
For Game #6, I pushed my husband out the door to go watch the
game with friends. There would be no stealing my happy mojo. Not
with so much on the line.
Yet going into the third period, the Hawks were down a goal and
the momentum was with Detroit. I deduced that Jack being asleep was
impacting the outcome of the game. I needed to awaken my little
rabbit's foot. I headed upstairs to his room and found Jack
sleeping soundly, clasping his "rally rag" from Game #5 tightly in
his hands. With only the slightest of jostles ("WAKE UP, JACK!
WANNA WATCH THE GAME WITH MOMMY?!?"), Jack crawled out of bed and
we headed downstairs.
No sooner did our feet touch the first floor than the Hawks
scored. Then there was another one. The team would go on to win 4-3
with an improbable Game #7 tonight.
I've firmed up plans. Joe will be evicted. And Jack has been
offered Red Bull by other local superfans so as not to miss a
single minute of the game.
Of course, I won't really be giving my 7-year-old Red Bull.
But I'm not opposed to a little coffee.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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