The Power of the Reverse Jinx
Reverse Jinx: def. “A prediction which is the opposite of the outcome desired by the person making it.”
This season, the 49ers have surprisingly returned to the NFL elite. The Niners are 11-3, clinched the NFC West three weeks ago, and are playing to get a 1st-round bye. So, what’s the reason for this resurgence: Is it rookie head coach Jim Harbaugh injecting his “ra-ra” personality to the team? Is it the improved play of much maligned QB Alex Smith? Or is it the defense, led by All-World LB Patrick Willis with breakout years from Navarro Bowman, Carlos Rogers, and Aldon Smith?
No, no, and no. The reason is me, Anthony Garcia.
Sounds crazy, right? Well then you know nothing about sports jinxes. Sports Jjnxes are real. I can prove it. In 2002, when the Giants choked away a 5-run, 8th inning lead in Game 6 of the World Series I sat in a rocking chair in my living room wearing a “2002 National League Champions” t-shirt. So, what did I do the next night for Game 7? I sat in the same exact same chair. Wearing the exact same shirt. I jinxed the team. It was like a divorced woman wearing the wedding dress from her first matrimony at her second wedding. There’s no way that second marriage was going to last. There was no way we were going to win that game, and we didn’t. I blame myself for that loss.
Knowing the power sports jinxes have, I decided to go the other way. What if I jinxed the jinx? What if I did a reverse jinx? Here are the reverse jinxes I’ve posted as my Facebook statuses regarding the 49ers this season:
Week 4 vs. Philadelphia (while we were coming back from a 23-3 lead): “Not getting sucked in to this 49ers comeback. We’ll find a way to lose. Mark my words.” 49ers won, 24-23
Week 5 vs. Tampa Bay: “You’re not sucking me in, 49ers. I’ve been down this road with you before. You’ve punched me in the stomach too many times for me to believe. What creative way are you gonna find to blow this 18-point lead?” 49ers won, 48-3
Week 6 vs. Detroit: “No way we win today. Not against that pass rush, in that dome, with that passing game. Who thought the Lions would be 6-0 after today?” 49ers won, 25-19
Week 8 vs. Cleveland: “Total “trap game.” Colt McCoy is absolutely underrated. The bye week’s gonna make us lose our momentum. 49ers getting upset today wouldn’t surprise me, just saying…” 49ers won, 20-10
Week 9 vs. Washington: “Never a good thing when a West Coast team plays the early game on the East Coast. 49ers looking at a second loss today.” 49ers won, 19-11
Week 10 vs. New York: “Giants are on a roll and a great road team. 49ers haven’t looked good the past couple of games. Not looking good for the Niners today, I smell a Giant W” 49ers won, 27-20
Week 12 vs. Baltimore: “I’ll take 9-2 after Thanksgiving. I can live with a 49ers loss tonight with Thanksgiving to distract me. The Ravens are a Super Bowl-caliber team.” 49ers lost, 16-6
Week 15 vs. Pittsburgh: “Even though we’re going to lose tonight to the defending AFC champions, it’s nice to have Monday Night Football back at Candlestick. A 3-seed in the playoffs isn’t so bad…” 49ers won, 20-3
That’s right, 7-1. It took me three weeks for me to fully realize the power of the reverse jinx. The only loss was to Baltimore on Thanksgiving when I was in New York visiting family. And even then, I made that prediction at halftime and not pre-game, failing to respect the magic of the reverse jinx. In Week 13 the Niners played the Cardinals in Arizona. I assumed a 49er victory was ensured and failed to make a reverse jinx for that game. The reverse jinx is a vengeful entity and the 49ers lost. So, blame those two on me.
I know it’s crazy for me to ACTUALLY think that I’m influencing the outcome of 49er games with my Facebook statuses, but what’s crazier is that it seems to be working. The numbers speak for themselves. Seven wins, one loss. Eight games is half of an NFL season, that’s a fairly large sample size.
In Bull Durham, the greatest baseball movie of all-time (If you say A Field of Dreams, stop reading this and punch yourself in the face. It isn’t even an argument. It’s like saying yellow is the best kind of Skittle. It’s just not. And if you say A League of Their Own, well, then you’re probably a girl. And yet, I digress.), Crash Davis says, “A player on a streak HAS to respect that streak.” And I will. I won’t be sleeping at the wheel for anymore 49er games this season. I’ll be going for the reverse jinx from here on out. Still though, it sucks knowing that the best-case scenario for this 49er season is getting blown out in Lambeau by the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. And no, that isn’t a reverse jinx (wink, wink).