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Betting on blind faith

Katie Perry | Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I have deep loyalty in many things, one of them being the New York Yankees.

Their stunning loss to Boston in the ACLS was heart-wrenching enough, but the pain that befell me following their Game 7 defeat was only amplified by the fact that I had gambled on the series. And when the Yankees lost, I lost. Big-time.

In my mind, betting on the Yankees was like betting on gravity. For me to lose would mean that some universal law of nature would be defied, and this of course could never happen. I was so certain of victory that I hastily placed bets with two separate friends.  I barely listened to the terms – after all, I wasn’t going to lose – and continued exuding over-the-top confidence in my team. While some may perceive my lofty declaration of imminent victory as sheer arrogance, I ascribe to it a different name – blind faith.

My swagger only increased as the Yankees steamrolled through the first three games of the series. The momentum was ours and the sweep was certain. With Game 4 looming I was on top of the world. I incessantly taunted the friends I had placed bets with, as well as every other Red Sox fan I encountered. My stance on the Yankees’ intrinsic superiority was becoming instantiated, and I was not about to let anyone forget it.

And then it happened. We lost, but not just once. We lost four times in a row. Four consecutive defeats, and the Red Sox had somehow broken a curse, made history, and severely traumatized every Yankees fan on God’s green Earth. It felt as though someone had jabbed a piece of David Ortiz’s shattered bat through my heart. Recalling my bets only added insult to injury.

In the first bet I was required to wear a Red Sox T-shirt for an entire day.

Not so bad, I thought to myself.  Even though I would never willingly dress in such atrocious apparel, I still could imagine a worse predicament.  However, when I was given the shirt I was stunned to see that it had been altered, and the once-plain Pedro Martinez jersey now donned a myriad of humiliating phrases. In large black letters across the stomach read, “David Ortiz is My Papi.” “A-Rod Cheats and Is Ugly,” read the neckline. The back was decorated with “I Want to Have Pedro’s Children” and “Curt Schilling Has a Hot [Butt].”

The second bet involved a slightly more arduous task – eight weeks of laundry duty. Again, I assured myself that it could be a lot worse. I obviously did not know what I had gotten myself into. I soon found that some boys are extraordinarily fastidious regarding their clothing, that “rolling” boxers is ideal to folding them, and that some people prefer a “deep fold” in their socks. T-shirts that cost over $20 are placed on the left, all others go on the right, and one more thing, folding them in thirds just won’t cut it – halves are acceptable, however.

One day as I sat on the floor rolling boxers, folding sox, and halving shirts, someone walked by raving about the Duke men’s basketball team. I immediately interjected and asserted the potency possessed my hometown team of Syracuse.

“I’ll bet you my Dukies make it farther in the NCAA tournament than Syracuse,” he said. Without hesitation, I responded.  “You’re on.” I guess some things never change.