24 February 2010

Warrant Wednesday.

Per loyal TSO BFF Dena, we present you the following Wednesday question. Dena, I hope you approve of the song choice; the epiphany happened to me today while I was munching down on a yummy Filet-o-Fish (yep, Brian, I sure was singing the song to myself).

What superstitious and/or lucky game rituals do you have to ensure a Wings' victory?

Several of us were discussing this in the comments when Dena suggested we hash it out on here, so here goes.

Compared to the feats of several of our scrappy readers, I'm super lame; the only real in-person lucky article of clothing I've worn to the Joe two out of three times I've been, thus far, are a lucky pair of socks, which happen to be covered in shamrocks. I tried wearing a lucky pair of underwear, but we lost the second time I wore them--and, incidentally, I was NOT wearing the socks--so I guess those will just have to remain lucky in non-athletic endeavors.

That being said, I do have various superstitions regarding the process for watching a game at Buffalo Wild Wings. If it's boneless Thursday (boneless WINGS, sickos, sheesh), I'll order eight medium-hot Wings with ranch dressing. I have to order this every time if it's a Thursday. Also, I have to drink Blue Moon in succession until the end of the second intermission, at which point I order a Molson Canadian to enjoy during the third period. I get really nervous if our server doesn't come back in time for me to have this beer by the beginning of the third.

Further, I will not wear Brian's Yzerman jersey to BWW unless the team is in a secure position. It has nothing to do with the jersey itself; Brian has worn it plenty of times during games and with great success. He even wore it the first time we were at the Joe, which resulted in a bombardment of the Wild. But I wore it on those consecutive Saturdays last year when the Wings lost to the Predators, and then the Blue Jackets, 8-0 and 8-2, respectively. I've worn it out once since, and it resulted in a Wings' victory over the aforesaid BJs in Game 4 of the first round last year...but I remember rationalizing that it was ok to wear it because even if we lost, we'd still won three games already. So now I'm convinced that this jersey is, in fact, to be employed only in clutch situations; that's when I can harness the true power of its awesomeness.

Finally, I had a couple of rubber bracelets (you know, the sex kind) that had 2008 Stanley Cup champions on them, and I wore the red and white ones ALL THE TIME, including to a wedding. I never took them off. In fact, I proclaimed I would take them off only when the Wings won the Cup again, which, obviously they did not in 2009. Well, on New Year's Eve, I reevaluated the state of affairs this season and took a long look at the state of the bracelets. The writing had pretty much worn off, and the white one was actually looking kinda grody; because I'd never taken it off, it even had hair dye on it. So not cool. So, I made the painful decision to remove them...and the Wings won that night against Colorado. (Also, it's not for nothing that that was the night my bonercrush Ville scored his final goal scored for the Wings.)

Alas, I do still miss them, but part of loving something is letting it go, right?

And yeah, to answer the obvious subsequent question: This blog is being written by somebody who is, in fact, just a hand.


  1. Little supertitions with hockey. Sometimes, losing with little time left, I turn the feed off and listen to the radio.

    It's not an actual superstition, but the team always wins when I take the girl to the movies. Get home, see the score, one more W.

    As for soccer.. same underwear the entire World Cup or something like that.

  2. I have absolutely no hockey superstitions, but I have a reversible Red Wings blanket with red on one side and white on the other. Whether the Wings are playing home or away decides which color I have facing up while I watch the game.

    I like to keep it cold in my house. Cold is cheap. Stop judging me.

  3. Earlier this year I thought I'd take it upon myself to "turn the tides" for the wings by watching the games outside on my deck. I live in Texas. We can do that kind of stuff in the winter. So I go to home depot and buy something like $50 worth of chairs and power chords...you know...to really dress the place up. I drag the tv outside, get all beer'd up...and we end up losing to the f'ing Kings. In retrospect, it's probably a good thing we lost, because the setup was a complete pain in the ass and, obviously, if it would have worked, I would have had about another 30 games worth of moving televisions in my immediate future.

    On a simpler note, I have a lucky Captain jersey that I sport at critical periods, as well as a hat that I bought about 15 years ago...no shit.

    Sidenote - If games are starting to get out of control stressful, I've found that the Wings tattoo on my ribs starts to itch.

  4. I don't have one specific superstition, for me it is more of a process. I am very bad during the playoffs about having to wear only team colors, nothing with the other team's colors on it. During the WCF last year, I had to make sure to wear red AND white, not just red because both teams had red, and of course no black. Also, I have a lucky CD that I listen to on the morning of every playoff game, and I get VERY upset if I get to work and haven't finished the CD yet. Sometimes I even sit in my car in the parking garage until it's finished.

    Also, the last 2 years there has been a Stanley Cup Final game on my birthday. In 2008 we won so in 2009 I made sure I wore EXACTLY the same outfit. It worked! (for that game, anyway)

    In the regular season, my superstitions vary a lot more. I don't really pay attention to what I'm wearing, it's more about whose broadcast am I listening to, am I allowed to watch on TV or not, and in what room, etc. For example, I usually listen to first periods on XM radio in the car on the way home (it's a 5:00 or 5:30 start time here). If we are winning when I get home and start watching on TV or the computer, and then we start losing, I may go back to the radio feed. Or I may have to watch on the TV in the bedroom vs. the living room. OK, so there is a different lucky CD for the regular season.

    One superstition I don't allow is "if the team wins games I miss, then I'm not allowed to watch." If my favorite team can't win with me there, that's their problem, not mine!

  5. During playoffs last summer I was temporarily residing in Wichita, KS, and a couple of fellow Wings fans and I would go to various sports bars to catch the games. Every game we watched at Old Chicago, we won. Every game we watched at Heroes Sports Bar, we lost. I tried to tell everyone that watching game 7 at Heroes would be disastrous, but no body listened. Alas, the fools!

  6. Surround Sound, as loud as possible. Yes, even the West Coast games (10pm-ish starts around here). My neighbors love me.

    My Wings rubber bracelets (I will keep my eyes peeled for new ones for you, Nat!) & my Red Wings ring(s).

    I also have RW beer koozies (bottle & can) which I rotate per game. However, for the Playoffs, I have a special RW koozie. Nobody else is allowed to use it.

    If I go to the game itself or watch it at someone else's house, I always wear a jersey.

    Off-topic: I love that stupid filet-o-fish song. I torture everyone I know with it on a regular basis. Especially now that I own that fish.

  7. When I played, it was absolutely imperative that I did the right side first: right skate went on first, right sock, etc.

    When I was nine or ten, my mom gave me these "coins" that you get engraved, for good luck. They were on me for every single game I played, all the way through college.

    When watching the Wings, I'm pretty laid back during the season. However, when the playoffs begin...

    EVERYTHING has to be the same as the game before (assuming they won, of course). I occupy the same square foot of couch, Andrea does the same, pillows, stuffed animals. Whatever ya got.

    I often pace the room, arguing with the television and calling the shots before the passes are even off Datsyuk's stick. I don't know if that counts as superstition, or just crazy, but it's a common sound/sight 'round here.

  8. OH!

    In 2008, wearing Red Wing paraphernalia on game days didn't work. So I made sure not to. But in 2009, it DID work. So, when I went home for Games 5 and 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, there was an emergency laundry night (after we watched Game 6 on television).

    It worked for Game 5...but obviously not Game 7.

  9. No superstitions but rules.

    Rule #1: Don't call me when the Wings are on. Considering Rule #1 got me fired from my worst job ever and led to 8 years of blissful self-employment, it is the best rule ever.

    Rule #2: If the Wings are losing, go clean the kitchen. They always score when I look away to load the dishwasher. Well, they used to. It hasn't worked so well this season but the kitchen is always clean.

  10. Herm: Do you end up going to the movies for a lot of clutch games? And does it ever depend on what kind of movie you see?

    JJ: There will never be any judging on TSO for cold temps. Brian and I are both of the opinion that every person who cranks up the heat during the winter and turns their homes/businesses into saunas are going to spend a nice, long eternity roasting in hell. Love your take on the reversible blanket, though.

    Rob: I LOVE the outdoor/patio/hockey cave idea. It reminds me of this thing I saw recently on the news...after all the snowstorms, this guy in Ohio or Indiana or something built a GINORMOUS igloo in his yard, complete with an archway entrance and several, separate rooms. The center room had a TV and chairs, and he watched the Super Bowl in there. Fun times!

    Jenn: That is AWESOME that your birthday fell on day of the 2008 Cup victory. That would be amazing. It's also significant that they won again on your birthday last year...that bodes well in the future, right? Just out of curiosity, have there been other Cup-deciding games that have fallen on your birthday?

    MonsterRawr: It is not lost on me that the Wings triumphed each time you watched from Old CHICAGO. I had a good chuckle when I read that. Oh, universe, you're so clever sometimes. Mwahahaha...

    raputathebuta: The hell with the neighbors. If they knew what was good for 'em, they'd be watching, too. I appreciate the search for the new bracelets! I was really sad to let those go, but I figured it was time. Also, I'm glad I've found a kindred spirit with the Filet-o-Fish song, although, to be fair, I have to say that I HATED that commercial with a deep, dark passion when it first came out last year, but then it grew on me. Oh, also, Brian was instantly obsessed with it, so I think that had something to do with it...I had to choose between demolishing our relationship or tolerating the song. The latter was easier, and then it legitimately grew on me. It's just too fucking infectious.

    Michael: It's funny how we all seem to kick it up a notch during playoffs...as if every little thing we say and do causes a gigantic ripple effect in the universe. I love that you had the right side superstition when you played; so many athletes do things like that, and if I played anything professionally, I'm sure I would be like that, too.

    Krononymous: I HAVE to know the story of how you got fired. Hey, at least by your own admission, it was a good thing, right? Also, I like the dishwashing story; that's a powerful incentive to complete the annoying household chores. You should have a code with anybody who watches the game with you, like, "Hey, I need a squeaky clean new glass, PRONTO!"

  11. Natalie - a clarification: it was not the cup clinching game that was on my birthday. In 2008 it was game 4, and in 2009 it was game 2. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Flip and Huds for scoring the game-winning goals in those games. Plus Zata's performance on the 5-on-3 kill in 2008, which pretty much guaranteed he will be my favorite hockey player forever. Another big game in Red Wings history was played on my birthday in 2002 - the 7-0 Game 7 vs. the Avalanche. During that playoffs was when I first became a hockey fan and that is one of the first games I really remember.

    Michael - this is the same problem I have. The superstition that worked last time won't necessarily work this time. I take it as my responsibility to figure out what the lucky thing for that day is, and then do that. Unfortunately that's not always easy!

  12. OK, I'll start with the least weird. On game nights that I have to work, I wear all red under my whites. A red tank/tshirt, socks, and undergarments. I can never wear the opposing teams colors ever on game days.

    Here's where it's going to get weird. When I attend a game, I haven't worn anything Wings related in years, I wore either the color kelly green or bright yellow. This was because every time I wore red/winged wheel, they lost. This season, I have worn red/ winged wheel and both of those games went to SO losses. The next game I go to (3/9) I will sport my Kronwall jersey, we will see how that goes. Driving to a game from Kalamazoo: I take the back way to 94 and have to drive 55 until I hit the highway. During the drive on 94, I have to boost the speed up to 93 AT LEAST once or else I will melt down. Entering the Joe Louis parking lot, I have do go in the left hand lane, because I am left handed, and most of the Wings shoot left. And I ALWAYS have to be there in time for warmups, I need my stretching porn. And now that there are Timbits, Timbits between each period. AND...at the end of the game I cannot leave my seat until ALL Wings have left the ice. This includes post game interviews.

    Now onto playoffs. If I am wearing an outfit and the Wings win, I HAVE to wear that EXACT outfit until they lose. And on game 7's, the Larionov game worn jersey is taken out of cold storage and unleashed. (Record 6-1)

  13. Jenn, sorry about that. I completely misread what you said, but you know what? It's still kickass that the SCF have occurred during/around your birthday, not to mention the shutout of the Avs. In other words, you have the best birthday ever.

    And yep, I'm with you and Michael about the conflicting superstitions. It's how I feel about wearing Brian's Stevie jersey and how I deduced that it's only ok to win it in clutch situations. It doesn't make sense to me, but do superstitions ever really make sense?

    Dena, you officially win for having the best superstition: having to hit 93 mph or suffering a nervous breakdown. It would be the perfect excuse if you ever got pulled over, too: "I HAVE to do it or else the Wings will lose and/or I will die."

  14. If I get home and the Wings are not doing too hot I immediately put on my jersey and rub the sleeves together to create kinetic energy that I will to the Wings players. I know, I know, I'm a bit crazy.

    Also, may your Thursday NEVER be completely boneless. :-P

  15. Natalie,

    I haven't been pulled over yet (knock on wood) but that is the EXACT excuse I was going to give. SOULMATES.

  16. Well Natalie because you HAVE to know, I will tell the tale as briefly as possible. I was working for a software vendor and was on the road a ton. I had about 10 projects to everyone else's 1 or 2 so I really wasn't feeling the "team mentality". We were summoned by our Fearless Leaders to "headquarters" for some team building. I flew out there but didn't attend the meetings because I was actually too busy with clients. It was determined that I had an "attitude problem" but rather than talk to me face to face, they waited until I flew home and then called me just as the puck was about to drop. I told them it was 7:30 my time and that I couldn't talk to them because the Red Wings were on and then I just hung up the phone on them. The rest is history and my clients were okay with my attitude because they stayed my clients.

    It is also important to note that I did watch Fight Club the day before so in addition to the Wings, I must also credit the airplane scene.

  17. I don't think I can quite compete with Dena, but I have a TON. Whenever I go to my cousin's house to watch on the Nitz family big screen, my brother and I take I-96 (which we call I-Homer) which eventually takes us to US-23 (Stewie) where we take the Kronwall exit to get to their street. We then have to sit in the same seats each game and I discovered last year during the SCF that I cannot eat cheesecake during intermission- it always goes badly when I do. If we win (like the Team USA v Canada) then I get my dessert.
    If I work until after 3 on a day I have tickets, I just go to the Joe smelling like coffee rather than rushing through a shower because Swedes like coffee, so maybe they'll smell the Starbucks on me and be energized by it. I also always have to wear the same shoes, belt, pants, style and sock and same color undies. My shirts are ranked for luck (I have 3 that are still waiting for a try-out, some I only wear on non-game days, and some that are being hidden in the dresser until they lose their bad luck.) Since Franzen has scored every time I wear the Mata Mulan shirt, that's the current favorite. I'm not making my shirt about Pasha needing more shoot until the Mule shirt is worn out.
    And before big games, I always make sure my pj's include a Wings shirt...
    That's all I'm willing to admit right now :)

  18. Crater, thanks for the good wishes! Sounds like an Irish blessing, ha! Love that you do the thing with the sleeves...what would you do if you inadvertently started a fire?

    Dena: They would HAVE to understand, they'd just have to. SOULMATES, INDEED.

    Krononymous: That is the BEST story ever. Now, along with Dena's story if she gets pulled over, I HAVE to think that what you said should have gone over well, but since it didn't, the people in question were obviously soulless. Or Hawks fans.

    Sara: I-96 will FOREVER be I-Homer. They should put up one of those white and black historical markers just for that. I LOVE it and will never refer to it as anything else. I also love that Franzen has scored each time you've worn the shirt...if the scoring streak is broken, the Pasha "more shoot" shirt is an absolute MUST.

  19. Do you end up going to the movies for a lot of clutch games? And does it ever depend on what kind of movie you see?

    Any movie works, but I don't go to the movies just because there's a game. It's more of a coincidence than a superstition.

  20. I dont have many. I guess the biggest is if i'm out somewhere drinking while watching the game, and they have Guinness on tap, well.....thats what i'm drinking. but I didnt abide by that as well as I shouldve last year.....

  21. I realize this is well, ridiculously late in answering, but work and Olympic hockey's kept me a bit busy.

    As a hockey fan, I am ridiculously superstitious. Not to the point of wearing rubber bracelets, but I do have many rituals that make my friends (and sometimes Sara) even roll their eyes.

    I play a game on Facebook called Hockey Tycoon. It's ridiculously simple, but it was something I needed when I was going thru hockey withdrawal this summer. One of the parts of the game involve training players, who you assign some of your friends to. I have all the big important Wings players on there, sometimes more than one per player (Milleavedelkader is my latest invention), but if there's an area that the boys need to work on, like face-offs or blocking or stick-handling, I train them hardcore on it. Needless to say, after I uber-trained Raffy, he started playing awesome in the Olympics...just saying...

    One game days, particularly home games, I must go "visit Kirk." The local CostCo gas station is off of Maltby road, and therefore, I go visit him before each game. I have specific t-shirts that I wear for luck, also based on what I think our team needs help with. A black Wings shirt for Defensive help, my Swedes t-shirt for when Hank or Nick need a boost, and then there's the wearing of the gear at the game. I must always match my jersey (Lidstrom) with my #40 Team Sweden Zetterberg scarf, therefore having both D and offense represented. Sara, meanwhile, wears my other jersey (Stevie) with her #5 Lidstrom Team Sweden scarf, where D and offense are also balanced out. I always eat the same thing (hot dog plus diet coke), wear the same pair of pants, underwear, bra (washed of course!) on a winning streak, and on late games, when I have to get up early to go to work the next day, I sleep with my Red Wings blanket from when I was a kid, and sometimes, embarassingly, my Lidstrom jersey. I'm sure there's a lot more that I just can't think of at the moment.