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Cam Marston on Superstition

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On this week’s Keepin’ It Real, Cam talks about superstitions and begs our forgiveness for the topic today, which we’ve heard about a lot recently.

When I told my wife the topic of today’s commentary, she warned that people are going to get tired of hearing me talk about this. However, I feel I’m kind of obligated to discuss it. Let me explain.

I think it was Dr. Gerald May, who’s an author, psychiatrist, and theologian, who wrote in one of his books that superstition is best defined as “trying to control the magic,” and I like that definition, and I like that a guy who is both a medical doctor and theologian acknowledges magic, almost admitting that magic exists. Seems very out of character for a person with these qualifications.

So, why is superstition important and what does it have to do with today’s commentary?

Well, they won again. My sons’ football team. They won again. Another upset. Two weeks in a row of outperforming all expectations after winning in a season in which they weren’t supposed to win hardly at all. For those who need catching up, my two sons are on their high school football team, and they’ve made it through the first two rounds of football playoffs and play again tonight against the state’s top ranked team in their division. My sons’ team, by the way, is playing up two divisions. Pundits have picked them to lose all season long, and…they’re still playing. Against all the odds, they’re still playing… well into the post season. They are the little engine that could with nothing to lose, and it’s teams like this with attitudes like this that strike fear in their opponents, and they should, and it appears they have.

Which brings me back to superstition. For the past two weeks, I’ve mentioned my sons and their football team in this commentary the Friday morning and afternoon before their game that night, and…they’ve won. Is me mentioning them and their team what’s making them win? Of course not, but maybe. Maybe. I would never discredit the team’s hard work, their long hot hours of summer practice, the hours the coaches spend planning practice, watching game footage, creating new defensive schemes and new plays for the next game. That’s certainly where the wins are coming from.

So maybe I’m just superstitious, and I’m just trying to control the magic - that this mention somehow mystically, cosmically, superstitiously helps, and it is magic. The smiles on my sons’ faces last Friday night after their win was magic. The hugs that I got and gave my sons who were so dirty and smelly was magic. The parents were beaming, too. “Can you believe it?” we said. This is amazing, and it was amazing, and it felt like magic.

I don’t believe in superstitions unless they work, and so far, this one’s working. As I’ve said for the last two weeks, my oldest son is a senior, and each game may be the final one of his football career, which my wife and I have loved, so I’m mentioning my sons and their football game and their football team here, now, one more time.

I'm Cam Marston, and it may be too much to ask, but I'm just hoping for one more week... of magic.

Cam Marston is the Keepin' It Real host for Alabama Public Radio.