The Announcers’ Jinx
You Heard It Here Last
In case the title of this article didn’t strike a chord immediately upon reading it, the announcers’ jinx is when an announcer brings up a statistic that relates to the next play and then the player in question immediately does the opposite. If it did, then I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.
This past weekend, while watching the Saints vs. Ravens game, I witnessed one of the worst jinxes I’ve ever seen.
Justin Tucker, the consensus best kicker in the league, had been having a decent enough day. He hadn’t missed a kick yet. The announcer was emphasizing how accurate he always seems to be and how he’s never missed an extra point, but how he just looked a little off on this particular day.
Sure enough, the Saints go up by seven with two minutes left and Baltimore starts driving. They end up scoring and need just the extra point to force overtime.
The announcer once again mentions Tuckers’ impressive never-missed-an-extra point status and talked for what seemed like an eternity about how impressive it was since they’ve moved the extra point back. He also mentioned how it had been a rough year for kickers around the league.On cue, Tucker pushes the kick to the right and a strong headwind causes the ball to slice wide right.
I sat in my room in disbelief and for a brief second wondered if announcers—particularly in football—do this sort of thing on purpose.
After all, announcers in many other sports seem to know better. Take baseball announcers for instance. They don’t mention a no hitter or a perfect game until the chance for one has ended or the game is over.
They don’t bring up “cold spells” and “hot streaks” at critical junctures in games.
To be fair, it’s pretty easy to forget when an announcer “jinxes” something that doesn’t end up happening. Tucker has made plenty of kicks amidst talk of his accuracy, including three on the day prior to the big miss.
In addition, typically announcers are so isolated in their booth that there’s seemingly no way what they’re saying could possibly have any effect on what’s actually going on in the game.
But I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t care what they said about my team on game day.
Tyler Dean is a senior studying finance and math.