I'm not superstitious. Not even a little bit. But, I have developed some habits when it comes to preparing for a St. Louis Cardinals playoff game.  Some might call it a ritual.  While I do freely admit to at least being partially crazy, I think "ritual" is too strong a word.

First of all, assuming a 7pm (our time) start time, I make sure that everyone has had dinner at least one hour before game time.  If any kids need baths, we get them done no later than 6:30pm.  I tend to be the "dishes and laundry" guy, so if that stuff needs to be completed, it has to be at least started by 6:45pm.

What follows has been compared to the summoning of the "Invisible Swordsman" in the movie "The Three Amigos".

  1. I fill a blue plastic glass (can't be orange or any other color) 3/4's full of green tea sweetened by Splenda
  2. I make sure I'm wearing a St. Louis Cardinals t-shirt (nothing pre-1996 era).
  3. I occasionally wear pants.  (My wife wishes the word "occasionally" wasn't true)
  4. One white sock, one red sock.  Self-explanatory.
  5. No one in our house is allowed to utter the word "Albert" or "Pujols" in a sentence together or separate between 7p and 10pm or the end of the game, whichever turns out to be last.
  6. My kids are only allowed to watch movies that start with an "S".  (Which means they watch Shrek and Spongebob...a lot)
  7. I verify no later than 6:55pm that my wife does not have any additional chores that I will be assigned.
  8. I memorize the pre-game lineup as submitted by manager Mike Matheny so I know when it is acceptable to take potty breaks when the 7th and 8th place hitters bat.  (Note:  this has been totally screwed up by Descalso and Kozma having great playoff performances since I now can't miss their at-bats either)

Yes, I bleed Cardinal red.  I don't and won't pretend to be objective.  I'm a St. Louis Cardinal fan to the bone.  What say you?  Do you have any (hopefully more bizarre than mine) pre-game rituals you perform before these games?  If so, please share so my wife knows I'm not the only weird one.