“We mock what we don’t understand.”
Dan Aykroyd as Austin Millbarge, Spies Like Us, 1985
There seems to be some confusion regarding my recent “Miami Heat future/Derrick White putback/Heat have no chance to win Game Seven” post, so here I am to set the record straight once and for all.
First, a little backstory and clarification into what was fully intended to be a reverse jinx that proved utterly confounding for so many. I know this because my act was so compelling, not only did the reverse jinx work in impeccable fashion but most failed to recognize it was even taking place. Folks, do not try this at home. Please leave it to the professionals.
At the beginning of the NBA playoffs, I perused the futures prices of the remaining teams to see if there was any value on the board. In a year full of unpredictability, I thought I might find a good number on a team that could string together a few upsets on their way to a conference title.
It turns out this was the perfect year to do so. If we travel back in time, we’d find that the top-seeded Denver Nuggets were not listed as favorites to win the West. Any experienced gambler will tell you seeding means little when it comes to expected outcomes. Rather, more popular teams with household names, i.e., Phoenix (Kevin Durant), Lakers (LeBron James) and Warriors (Steph Curry) were all favored over Denver. We now know how that panned out. They’re all at home watching another MVP take his turn revolutionizing the game.
When I saw that the Miami Heat were yes, 48 to 1 to win the Eastern Conference, I convinced Dr. Milhouse that we should each throw $10 on that number. We did.
As the Heat ran roughshod through the playoffs, it appeared extremely likely that our long shot wager would hit. In fact, it’s probably the biggest, single underdog wager I didn’t ever have to sweat.
Until I did. So, I did something about it.
Up three games to nothing against the Boston Celtics, my futures ticket appeared as good as cashed. Then the Celtics won three straight games, and all seemed lost for both my wager (more importantly) and Miami Heat fans (considerably less importantly).
In an act of pure desperation, I decided to flip the script and set Operation Reverse Jinx into motion. I probably upset the gambling gods in this feeble attempt to shift momentum back to my side, but I’m sure they had bigger fish to fry than my little $10 wager. They might have even respected the effort.
The day of Game Seven, a game in which the Boston Celtics were eight-point favorites on their home floor, the Celtics seemed to have all momentum on their side. Logic dictated that the Heat had lost control of the series against a team that was better on paper. The way the Heat lost Game Six, with a last second putback at the hands of Derrick White, it seemed like too much for a team to overcome. Too much for a team that is not named the Miami Heat.
So, I wrote about how all was lost, how I shouldn’t have talked so much about the future, how I jinxed it all along by talking about the wager openly. I really sold it. But what I was really doing was talking about how the wager was jinxed to trigger the reverse jinx. It was a bold, next level move that few could comprehend.
I was criticized both in person and in text strings for losing faith in the Heat, going so far as to text friends deep into the fourth quarter that “There’s no way Boston loses this game.” The C’s were down double digits late in the game with little chance of a comeback. All momentum shifted back to Miami but I couldn’t let up. It was all part of the ploy. Cue me for my Emmy.
Did I think the Miami Heat could pull off another upset, their third win in Boston in four games? Of course not. But my act had to be thorough for fear of the reverse jinx backfiring.
It paid off and we can all laugh about it now. Here’s hoping I cleared up any confusion amongst my readers. Kudos to the few who saw right through it.
When attempting something as ambitious as the reverse jinx, a feat as death-defying as the Triple Lindy, as internally balanced as the crane move, or as game changing as the Fake 23 Blast with a backside George reverse, one must be resolute in focus, or as Buddy Kane preached in American Beauty, “In order to be successful, one must project an image of success at all times.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present the reverse jinx played to perfection. Disbelieve at your own risk.