The Bolts are playing as I write this, but I have intentionally avoided checking the score until after I get this out.
First, some history. The San Diego Chargers Professional Football Club has, for many years, sucked. There was one giddy year, when they jouked and jinked their way to the Super Bowl ™ to be completely humiliated by San Francisco. That complete ass-whuppin’ was the best the Chargers managed (which, to be fair, means at least they got to the dance) while I lived in America’s Finest City ™. Most years, we were happy for mediocre.
Then I left town. I went so far away I couldn’t even watch the games on TV. The Chargers have been contenders ever since. (Also note that the San Diego Padres Baseball Club has won their division ever since.) Two years ago I started issuing alerts when I was in town, or when I would be following the game. Let’s call them red alerts and yellow alerts.
My first red alert was a couple of years ago when San Diego was heavily favored to crush Miami. The point spread was ridiculous, but Miami was really horrible, and the Chargers were looking pretty good. The catch: I was in San Diego. Miami won, and the Chargers never recovered. Season over.
That is the power I seem to wield.
Of course, one game, even when you call it ahead of time, does not a curse make. No, for that you will have to review the other gambler’s alerts on these pages. All of those are before the fact and therefore unassailable, but there are also the after-the-fact lamentations, as when I followed the last five minutes of the Chargers-Ravens game last season. When I started watching, the Chargers had the game in hand. When, nauseous, I turned off the game minutes later, they had lost.
The Chargers lost three games last year. After the first two losses, I spent a great deal of time convincing myself that it was simply coincidence that they choked in games I watched. I was not a curse, despite my statements here. I was nine time zones away, and no rational person would believe that I had any effect on the outcome of the game.
I have not checked in with tonight’s game, but the message here is that I have discovered the world of Internet bootleg sports broadcasts. The barrier for me watching the Bolts is suddenly much lower.
It still might be OK. I’m not in San Diego. The delay in the bootleg broadcast might be enough. Still, I think it’s time to put a yellow alert on the entire season.
Gamblers, you have been warned.