Walking to work this morning, I was hopeful. The sun was shining and I had successfully finished an intense pilates workout with my trainer. Jill Scott was was keeping the tempo up from my ipod as I weaved through a group of early tourists. But as I was crossing the street - with a green light and on a crosswalk - I weaved to the left and fell in a hole. Literally. My left leg unexpectedly dropped 6 to 8 inches and my right knee and palm hit the asphalt. In shock I jumped to my feet and waved off the one woman in the crowd who paused to help as I kicked into my best speed walking mode without inspecting my injuries to get as far from embarrassment as quickly as possible. After arriving in my office I realized my knee was covered in blood and had stained the hem of skirt.
What was my first thought? That this day could start bad and things can go wrong all day but that would only improve the odds of a Jazz win. Seriously. I am extremely superstitious when it comes to sports and I couldn't help but think maybe I could take the bad luck on for the day - like when my friend got married and I was the one who had 50 mosquito bites on my legs, fell down cement steps and got a flat tire on the drive home so she could have a perfect, non-dramatic wedding. I was happy to make the sacrifice.
The game was another tight one filled with unusual drama and emotion. Dee Brown has stepped up from the bench in the last two games to cover Fisher's absence and has been playing incredibly. Sadly, he was injured in an unfortunate collision in the 1st quarter. As the trainers slowly helped Dee to his feet and every person in the arena stood to applaud, tears came to my eyes when he looked like he was going to pass out.
Teary emotions returned when Derrick Fisher walked onto the floor and the crowd cheered. Then again when he made a critical three-pointer to cinch the game in overtime and after the game as he selflessly discussed his daughter's rare cancer to warn other parents.
Despite doubts, the Jazz pushed through and took it down to the wire. I called my mom when the Jazz were down by 3 with less than 2 minutes left to play - the same time I have called during the last two games (another superstition). In a crux play Baron Davis went to the line. My mom lamented that he never misses and I said "He's 5 for 5, you know what that means, right?"
I am not sure exactly when or how it started but years ago, watching Jazz games with my family in the basement of our old house on Azul Way, my mother developed a power. At critical points in a game, when the Jazz were losing or missing free throws or three point shots, or when the other team was on fire and couldn't seem to miss, my mom would utter two words and luck would reverse, baskets would fall and the Jazz would win. Tonight, after years of neglect, she pulled it out her secret weapon after Baron made free throw number one.
Remarkably, he missed. The Jazz were able to make a field goal and tie the game for overtime where they won by 10. It may just be a superstition but I believe in this one - Baron was due to miss because my mom said so. Over the years I have developed many, many superstitions related to sports but none so powerful as this one. Hopefully my mom will deem the Jazz due to advance to the Western Conference Finals.