20 March 2007

Tim Povtak Does Not Understand the Concept of the Jinx

If you've ever watched any sporting event on live TV, you know how the jinx works: a commentator/talking head/whatever makes a statement about a remarkable statistic or streak, only to see the unusual result happen.. Here's an example:

"Mark Price steps to the free throw line now. He's tops in the league in free throw percentage. The first shot... bounces off. So, a rare miss for Mark Price..."
Well, Tim Povtak, whose Orlando Magic/NBA coverage for the Sentinel I find to be much better than Brian Schmitz's, has jinxed the hell out of the Magic and their playoff chances. Imagine my horror when I visited the Sentinel's Magic coverage homepage to see this headline:
Idle Magic can shift back into No. 7 slot.
Even though that headline does not assert the shift as fact, it all but dooms us, at least this evening. Here's the key phrase from the article, which I've italicized in the following excerpt:
Indiana (30-35), New Jersey (31-36) and New York (30-36), the other three in the race for the seventh and eight spots, all are expected to lose tonight, playing against Western Conference teams with winning records.
The Pacers are playing the Rockets, the Nets are playing the Nuggets, and the Knicks are playing the Mavericks. Yes, I can see why Povtak would say that the teams were expected to lose. Just look at their opponents: the Rockets are coming off a 50-point victory against the 76ers; the Nuggets have won 4 straight, including a blowout of Phoenix; and the Mavericks have the best record in the league.

Here's what will happen tonight, though: Tracy McGrady's back will tighten up in pregame warmups, forcing Luther Head to start in his place. The Rockets shoot poorly and will lose a close game despite another steller performance from Yao. The Nuggets will decide not to play defense and allow the Nets to run-and-gun along with them. Jason Kidd will thrive in the wide-open style of play and drop a triple-double on the Nuggets. And the Knicks' backcourt duo of Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis will party like it's 1999 and combine for 55 points and 15 assists in shocking Dallas into its third loss in its past ten games.

Maybe I'm going out on a limb here. But now that Povtak has predicted a big standings shakeup, I can't help but to remain skeptical about it.

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