Curse of the Yankee

by Mike McHugh

131205 Curse Of The YankeeA long time ago, on a baseball team far, far away, the Boston Rex Sox traded slugger Babe Ruth—arguably the greatest to have ever played the game in a hung-over condition—to the New York Yankees.

Following that action, the Red Sox failed to win a World Series for longer than it took the Social Security system to go broke. It’s called “The Curse of the Bambino.”

That curse ended in 2004 when the Sox won it all, and they went on to win the series twice more, including this year. It lends hope that another curse—one that hits closer to home—might soon be broken.  I certainly hope so, for this one’s totally on me. I’m talking about The Curse of the Yankee.

Here in Lake Charles, the McNeese State Cowboys won their last playoff game in 2002. The very next year, I was traded here from Baltimore for a bushel of blue crabs. The Pokes haven’t won a playoff game since.

Granted, there’s no consensus that I am the sole cause for their post-season malaise over the past decade. Some tell me that it’s vain to think that one person can have this kind of effect on a football team, particularly if he’s not a member of the Cowboy Club.

Others want to fire me from the cannon that’s situated behind the north end zone.  For the record, I would gladly comply with their wish, provided the shot is in celebration of a winning touchdown in this year’s playoffs.

Still others say that the curse is a result of my mooching activity in the tailgate area. “Can’t you at least bring a few Slim Jims with you in return for all the beer and back ribs?” they ask. “Or better still, I hear they have a killer tailgate over at Southeastern U.”

I’m not sure where Coach Viator stands on the issue, but I have heard he’s considering an offer to the Mayor of Baltimore of another bushel of crabs on the condition that they take me back. If so, there’s little chance of her honor accepting, as Baltimore County’s own Towson U. is also playoff-bound.

Believe me, nobody feels worse about the Curse than I do. I’ve done my dangedest to break it. In 2007, when the Pokes went 11-0 in the regular season, I wore the same socks the entire time for luck. What happened as a result? The team got blown out in the first round, and the EPA classified the socks as a hazardous waste. It cost me ten grand to have them incinerated at a licensed facility.

This year, hopes are high that the Cowboys will make a run deep into the post-season. Coach Viator and the boys have certainly done their part, and so also must I do mine. To that end, I’ve gone to Sam’s Club and bought an extra large box of Slim Jims.

My next order of business is to get a helmet and report to the Buccaneers behind the north end zone for cannon duty.

Fleur White Small

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