FADEM: Oh Oh he’s magic

Superstitions are as much a part of sports as the games themselves. You know, I try to figure out what I contribute to a win or a loss ‘-‘- I’m not going out onto the field, court or ice, so my performance, and thusly the team’s performance, is based on whether I properly execute my pre-game traditions.

My superstitions vary from sport to sport, and once one goes awry I make a conscious effort to switch things up ‘-‘- it’s like me switching from man-to-man to zone ‘-‘- it’s the only adjustment I know how to make that will turn my team’s luck around.

Take for instance this past weekend with men’s hockey. BU got swept at home for the first time in 16 years ‘-‘- obviously something went wrong in someone’s superstition. For me, I’m looking to try to see what I did to cause this.

My traditional get-up at hockey games consists of firstly my Tom Morrow coast-to-coast shirt, followed by my red Terrier hockey jersey, then the hot dog costume and red headband. Here’s what went wrong ‘-‘- my Tom Morrow coast-to-coast shirt hasn’t been washed all season. I couldn’t wash it ‘-‘- every game I had been to had been a Terrier victory. And there’s no way I wanted to break that up by washing anything I’ve been wearing. That’s a basic of superstitions. So, on Friday, to try to deal with the smell and mass amount of body odor that has accumulated on the shirt, I wore another T-shirt underneath the Coast-to-Coast. I’m sorry, men’s hockey, for not forcing myself, and those who sit around me, to suffer through the wretched stench from that shirt. I blame myself entirely for the loss.

It’s not just me. Jesus, the most loyal members of the Dog Pound and I make sure we sit in a specific order at games. I have to be on Jesus’s right or for all I know the Earth might explode! As I found out last week in the FreeP, Jon Jonsson brushes his teeth before games. I heard women’s hockey goalie Allyse Wilcox puts all her pads on exactly 10 hours before a game, showers in them and then hangs them out to dry until gametime. Someone even mentioned to me that Eric Gryba forces Joe Pereira to kick him square in the jaw exactly three times minutes before puck drop. I tried to find out if he did this with his helmet on, but my source was unsure.

People have their own rituals and mannerisms that no one should really question before games. Superstition is kind of like oxygen ‘-‘- you can’t see it, but it’s there and people depend on it for survival.

However, once the game starts, whatever a superstition was turns into a strategy ‘-‘- things are done every game that stay consistent to a specific game plan the entire year. Sometimes it’s executed well, other times poorly.

I have never seen strategy executed as well as that of the men’s soccer team, and one player in particular. He has possibly the sweetest name on campus ‘-‘- Jin Oh.

Let me tell you a little something about the men’s soccer team’s strategy ‘-‘- I’ve gone to every postseason game the men have played this season and what has stayed consistent is coach Neil Roberts’s use of Oh, a 6-foot physical specimen from Dededo, Guam, who plays forward.

About 15 minutes into the first and second half, Jin will begin warming up on the sideline, most of the time with international pop sensation Jon Jonsson. Roughly five minutes later, you’ll see Jin enter the game for the first time, usually for Shaun Taylor in the first half. Tea time usually falls around then. No one denies Shaun Taylor his tea.

In every game of the postseason, Oh has scored a goal ‘-‘- most of the time it comes as the game-winning goal. Simply put, Jin Oh is as clutch as an athlete can get.

When it matters the absolute most, Oh has stepped up to a level that isn’t comparable. The Terriers have been in need of goals and have been able to go to Oh for the answer. He scored only one goal the entire season, but come playoff time, when the season has been on the line, Oh has proven himself to be the team’s go-to guy. This isn’t to discount his teammates, who have set him up time and time again, but sometimes the hardest part is just putting it in the back of the net, especially when it feels like it’s 20 degrees outside. (Who plays soccer in this weather?) Regardless, Oh has made a statement.

Plus, it’s so easy to cheer for him once he scores ‘-‘- you just yell a lot of ‘Ohs,’ make your ‘Oh’ face and say the 15th letter in the alphabet as much as you can. His fanbase has grown larger each and every game. And on top of all this, he wears red shoes.

I’m sure later today when the men’s soccer team faces the No. 3 team in all the land ‘-‘- St. John’s University ‘-‘- Oh will be called upon to find that late goal in each half that the Terriers will need. Whatever superstition he’s been doing, he needs to keep it up. If so, I’m confident in saying Mr. Oh will deliver as he has this entire postseason.

Oh, yes, he will.

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One Comment

  1. Soccer is a sport!