What to do if you think you’re bad luck

By | April 1, 2015

Did the last time your favorite soccer team beat their rival happen before you were born? Did your team once score a winning goal while you were in the bathroom, and you were never allowed to watch a game with your friends again? Do you refuse to watch your team play until the game is over because you think they will lose if you watch live?

If so, you’re what I affectionately refer to as “the Grim”. Whether you have bad luck and just so happen to only go to games that your team loses, or you are actually the cause of your team’s loss (probably the latter), you’ve become your friends and family’s scapegoat. As the Grim, you’re blamed for all of your favorite team’s shortcomings. If the opposing team scores a goal, you’re immediately told to go sit in the other room, because the only way that could possibly have happened is because you stepped into the room. You have more influence on a game played a few thousand miles away than you might think.


Spain Switzerland Soccer WCup

Don’t stress out too much; you’re not the only Grim out there. Mick Jagger, for instance, is called “Pé frio” (cold feet) by Brazilians because he is infamous for picking teams to win world cup matches that end up losing. However, this is one celebrity trend you do not want to follow. Once the word is out that you’re bad luck, you will never be invited to watch soccer games by your peers or family again. So here are some tips to get through the struggle of being your favorite team’s worst nightmare.

  1. Stay positive. Remember that you are, deep down, a great person. While you may be blamed for your team’s loss, other fans don’t hate you as much as your inadvertent actions. It’s also helpful to remind yourself of the teams you aren’t bad luck for (if such teams exist).
  1. Stop it. Do exactly the opposite of whatever you’ve been doing. For example, I’m bad luck for any men’s team in the world cup whenever I’m in that team’s country. During the 2006 world cup championship between Italy and France, I was in Paris when Italy won. During the 2014 world cup, I was in Spain for the first two games of the group stage (which they lost) and left right before their third game (which they won). Unfortunately, I came back just before the U.S. lost to Germany in the group stage and then lost to Belgium in knockout stage. Therefore, I plan to do my part in the 2018 world cup and travel to every country the U.S. is slated to play; you know, for the good of my country.
  1. Make someone else the grim ASAP. If you can manage to convince friends to watch just one more soccer game with you (even with your history of bad luck), you can also convince them that someone else is the grim. Ideally, you want to catch a friend out of the room when your team scores, so you can say that the only reason they scored was because your friend wasn’t watching. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. If you’re desperate enough, you can get away with saying pretty much anything someone else does is unlucky. Maybe the other team scored because your friends put their feet up on the table, or your team lost because someone bought a different brand of guacamole than you usually get. There is no unlucky act too unreasonable.

Soccer Euro 2012 Fans

4 thoughts on “What to do if you think you’re bad luck

  1. Harrison Kalt

    This is an incredibly fun and humorous post. I cannot tell you how bogged down in superstition I have been since a very young age. As a massive fan of all Detroit sports (both of my parents were born and raised in Detroit, Michigan), I was constantly watching Red Wings and Pistons games with my similarly superstitious father. We both had, and sadly still have our own spots on the couch, and I kid you not, I still have the same Detroit Pistons fan towel that I got when we beat the Milwaukee Bucks in 3OT almost 9 years ago that I wave around during ever Pistons game.

  2. Muthoka Muthoka

    This is an interesting topic and we tend to think we will let go off of such superstitions as we grow up but some of them still manage to stick around with us. I once believed that if I watched the ‘big’ Arsenal matches they would lose, I stopped watching those Arsenal games, not because of the believe but because of the pain of seeing Arsenal lose every time they played a big game, either way Arsenal still keeps on losing them although I no longer watch.

  3. Dan Summers

    This post made me laugh. As someone who is extremely superstitious, I’m always looking for new ways to impact the game from the seat of my couch. With Duke winning the national title, I think I’ve finally proven to my friends that I am no longer “the Grim”. I think of all the sports in the world, soccer may be the most superstitious. Simply due to the fact that the teams are so connected and intertwined to their communities and countries. No matter how old I get, it continues to amaze me how superstitious I still am. As a 10 year old, I knew my superstitions were ridiculous and I figured that I would eventually grow out of them. However, 11 years later and I’m still doing the same things I was then. I’m not sure sports fans ever grow out of their superstitions.

  4. Aissa Huysmans

    This is a brilliant post! So humorous 🙂 I think it’s always amusing to see the superstitious things that people do before and during games which they believe (and probably do 😉 ) impact the way their team plays and the eventual result. Great piece of writing Francesca, highly entertaining!


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