It’s Only Weird If It Doesn’t Work

This is the rare post from the ol’ Cancer Curmudgeon in that it is not cranky and complaining. I daresay it will border on hopeful and magical, maybe a little silly. Blame it on local pride, I OD’d on it watching the Raven’s celebration parade yesterday.

Despite my post of the Ravens logo minutes after their Super Bowl victory, I am not much of a football—or any sports—fan. In past years, my primary interest was just the half time shows, and of course, who doesn’t love the commercials. But during cancer treatment 2010-2012, I was hungry for distractions; books, TV, or any kind of pop cultural entertainment (bless Charlie Sheen in winter of 2011, the ultimate distraction). And the Super Bowl, the way it is the defining national event, especially fit the bill.

I’m Maryland born and bred, so my obvious allegiance is to the Baltimore Ravens. And as a bonus, the team name is a reference to one of the greatest poems of all time, written by one of the greatest American writers. A macabre poem written by a drunk who married his underage cousin doesn’t seem a likely inspiration for the name of team in a sport like American football. Guess that is why they were underdogs, another thing I like about ‘em!

During cancer treatment I became aware that the Ravens seemed to have a knack for getting almost to the Super Bowl, and would lose that final game that could send them there. For the past two winters I grumbled if only they would just win that last play-off game and at least get to play in the Super Bowl, that would be cool, I could live with that. So, when the season started last autumn, I kept an eye on the scores, something I’ve never done in my entire life!

Before I continue, indulge me in a small detour into my twisted mind, so the rest of this post will make even less sense and get weirder.

Weird Thing #1:

Long ago I read “Animals as Teachers and Healers” by Susan Chernak McElroy (whose blog I just discovered, hurray!). In the book (or perhaps the one she wrote right after that, I read them over 10 years ago) an interesting concept is discussed that essentially boils down to this: a cultural belief that the rooster crows because the sun comes up and the sun comes up because the rooster crows. No, it does not make any scientific sense, but it is a fun and interesting concept anyway. I know how the earth revolves around the sun, giving the illusion that the sun “rises” each day, regardless of any earthling’s behavior. I also know absolutely that if the rooster did not crow, the sun would not rise. Odd thing to come out of the mind of the cranky pants, atheist mind of the Cancer Curmudgeon, yes, but it is true, I believe it.

Weird Thing #2

Apparently, a theme of this year’s NFL season was fans and how they support their teams: “It’s Only Weird If It Doesn’t Work”. I did not know that until I saw a news segment of the same name, previewing that Stevie Wonder Super Bowl commercial and showing clips from Silver Linings Playbook, in which Robert DeNiro has his son (Bradley Cooper) or his son’s friend (an amazing Chris Tucker) hold the TV remote in one hand and an Eagles scarf in the other, slowly rubbing the scarf. The point of all this is that fans have these little “habits” that they believe will help “their” team win. The behaviors aren’t quite symptoms of OCD, but they certainly look like it. Hey, I have OCD tendencies and I am proud! And yeah, I wore my 2012 Ravens t-shirt from early Sunday morning to Monday morning—never ONCE removing it. Stop laughing, they won didn’t they?

Because my interest in following football started while having cancer, the two things became entwined in my mind. As the Ravens recently approached the final play offs once again, I approached my 6 month cancer check- up. I’d been doing well since my July check-up, much like the Ravens were beating the 49ers until half time. On January 14, the mammogram and ultrasound showed an “area” to monitor. I worried I might be in danger, that cancer was sneaking up on me again. After the black-out, the 49ers began to creep up on the Ravens, like my cancer. January 21, after this close shave, my visit with the oncologist tells me I’m still doing ok, status still NED. The 49ers crept up on the Ravens, but ultimately the Ravens persevered, and were victorious, just like me.

My next words may be crazy, brace yourself. It is just like the rooster crowing to cause the sun to rise each day.

My all clear from the oncologist earlier this month caused the Ravens to win, and conversely, the Ravens’ win means I will remain NED this year. No, it isn’t weird, because it’s working. And it is why this Super Bowl meant so much to a non-sports, non-superstitious person.

And now, the next post will return you to your regularly scheduled snark and crankiness.

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