Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Mojo Boogie - Stanley Cup Edition

My proclivities for game-day apparel superstitions have been pretty clearly spelled out here throughout last year’s football season.  I believe in Game Day Mojo, in that what I (and other fans) wear during the game affects the outcome.  I even keep a spreadsheet to track the effectiveness, year over year, of various jersey and hat combinations, factoring in variables such as home and away games, what I wore on the prior business day and where I was when I watched the game.

Yes, really.

Mojo also counts with hockey.  Due to the long nature of the 82-game hockey regular season, I’m not fanatical about it.  I normally attempt game-jersey mojo for weekend games and then during the playoffs.

Last year was different though.  The Penguins needed a big late-season push just to make the playoffs.  One thing I noticed was that my game jerseys weren’t working. 

Normally I’m all about wearing the game jersey, but through the first half of the year, the Pens just sucked completely.  I stopped wearing the jerseys and went to Penguins T shirts roughly the time that the Pens fired their coach and hired Dan Bylsma.  Then the next thing you know, they’re tearing it up.  Right in the middle of their big winning streak, I tried a jersey one more time for a game against the Capitals and we got smoked.  I didn’t wear another jersey for the rest of the year.

The Penguins won the Stanley Cup last year, culminating with a 7-game series against Detroit.  I tell you, I had to seriously work the mojo angle. 

For games 1 & 2 in Detroit, I went to my go-to playoff tee shirts and was stunned by their ineffectiveness.  For the game 3 “whiteout” in Pittsburgh, (where everyone in the arena was asked to wear white), I had just bought a white tee shirt from the Mario Lemieux Foundation, that has all these Pens references, nicknames and hockey terminology. 
Click the pic for a better look at the detail.

The Pens won, so I wore the same shirt for game 4 and they won again.  Then I wore it for game 5 back in Detroit and they got spanked in a 5-0 whitewash.  I was going to ditch that shirt after that, but figured it was only ineffective because Game 5 was in Detroit, so I wore it again for game 6 in the Burgh.  The Pens won, sending the series back to Detroit for the final game.

So for Game 7, there was no way I was going to wear the white MLF shirt that I wore for the Game 5 beating.  I reached deep into my closet and pulled out a gray Penguins “All Guts, No Glory” tee.  Totally the right move.  

The Pens won the Cup that night, leaving me in a state of near emotional collapse.
Here it comes...

...Commence emotional breakdown!

Now here we are, beginning a new Cup run.  Game 1 was last night and I tried to get some jersey mojo started last night, opting for the black Sid Crosby game jersey.

No such luck.  The Pens lost 5-4 in a nail-biter.  I’m not abandoning the jerseys yet… Next game is Friday night and I’ll probably break out the old-school Snoop Dog era Mario Lemieux black jersey.

If that doesn’t work and we go down 2 games to zip, I may have to bring back that MLF tee. 

It’s an awesome responsibility I have, I know, so I must take great pains to make calm and rational decisions about it.  We expect a lot from our team and so we must be willing to give back just as much.  Or else, you might as well just watch bowling.
This is a video of the last seconds of the game and the celebration thereafter.  I'll never get tired of seeing this.

Note: To the Crazy Brunette, and all others that are bored senseless by sports in general or hockey in particular, let me just refer you to a post from last October, that you should find more entertaining than this one: The Funniest Story Ever Written (By Me)

16 comments:

  1. Which version of "Mojo Boogie" do you listen to for proper pre-game motivation? The choices far as I know are:
    Freddie King
    Johnny Winter
    Gary Moore
    or Sean Costello

    Or maybe it's one I'm not aware of?

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  2. Johnny Winter... that's where I got the phrase.

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  3. TOTALLY going to read 'The funniest story ever written by you'

    And I feel so special that you love me enough to mention me!!!!

    I shit you not... I am sooooo with you on this post.

    Okay, here it comes...

    I don't like basketball(?)...baseball(BORING)...football(I just don't quite get the whole offense/defense/who has the mother fucking ball now situation...hockey...(sadly no dear...)

    I L-O-V-E NASCAR. Fuck you, its awesome.

    YES there is MUCH more to the SPORT than left turns thank you.

    Anyway, I'm a DIE HARD Kyle Busch fan. Best driver out there bitches. I bought a KB shirt at the Nationwide race at the KS Speedway last year. EVERY motherfucking time I wore that cock sucking shirt he either, lost, wrecked, or got penalized and FUCKED.

    I burned that fucker.

    If I wear my knee high, purple polka dot socks he ALWAYS finishes top 5 baby!

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  4. Shit I damn near wrote a whole post for you!

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  5. OK, so you're with me on the mojo part, just not the football, baseball, basketball or hockey part. Gotcha.

    Sorry though, I'm bored senseless by NASCAR. All I see are the left turns, punctuated by the occasional flaming airborne collision.

    But at least it's not golf. The player tees off and by the time he gets to his ball, I'm in a coma.

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  6. HaHa!!!!

    Sooooo, in agreement with that shit!!

    Just read the Diaper disaster! At least he didn't piss in your face! Go read my comment!

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  7. I certainly think the game of hockey is great, but I haven't watched much in the last five years.

    But with a new Boston radio station and hope now that they have the #2 pick in the draft, I'm kind of back into it. Disappointed after game 1 though.

    Playoffs in general are much more fun to watch.

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  8. I don't know. I'm conflicted about your decision to go with the jersey for Game 2. That's a bold and risky move. If it doesn't work, you need to purge all your Pens jerseys, and consider going with Guts and Glory for game 3. It will be that important.

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  9. FYI... just ordered me one of them Hockeytahn t-shirts. How awesome is that? Hope the Pens are still alive when it arrives.

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  10. First of all....spreadsheet...nerd (said with love). Second of all, I only like hockey when I see it in person. I love it when they fight. Same with baseball (not the fighting part). As for basketball....no thanks. Now I have to go read the funniest story ever written by you. I'm off like a Prom dress!

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  11. Crazy Brunette,
    I answered your comment there. Glad you liked the story.

    No way he was going to get me in the face… I kept bobbing and weaving.

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  12. Guy,
    The best thing ever to happen to hockey was HDTV. The game looks so much better and crisper… it’s much easier to follow the puck. The wider screen helps too.

    There’s more action in 10 minutes of hockey that an entire half of football. Good luck to the Bruins, against that scum from Buffalo!

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  13. Bagger,
    Well, I’m looking for another black jersey and it’s either the Snoop, or the pre-lockout updated black (that introduced the Vegas Gold highlights.) Problem is that the team was an epic fail, wearing that jersey.

    How great is that Hockeytahn shirt? Thank you for validating the coolness! I first saw it on ThePensblog.com (which I meant to mention in the post but forgot) and had to have it immediately. I see they're still offering it for sale at the MLF website.

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  14. Blogette,
    I totally cop to being a spreadsheet nerd. I’ve mentioned it in a post before ( http://darwinfish2.blogspot.com/2009/11/nary-cross-word.html ). I keep spreadsheets on everything. How do you know your life experience is worth while if you can’t quantify it and add bar graphs and pie charts?

    I will be the first to admit that seeing hockey in person is the greatest. TV doesn’t come close to doing it justice.

    Back when I used to be married (cold chill runs down back…) the wife wanted nothing to do with hockey. Then I took her to a game, and everything changed. She went from not knowing the difference between icing and offside, to standing up and screaming, “Hit’em, just hit’em. Beat’em up!” I was so proud.

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  15. Trixie,
    I agree! The Hawks are my second favorite team, right behind the Pens. I learned to like hockey when I used to live in Glen Ellyn, back in the late 60's. (as a real little kid) Used to watch the Hawks on a crappy little black and white TV when they had Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Tony Esposito and Keith Magnuson.

    And they still have one of the coolest uniforms in the NHL.

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