If you’ve ever been a sports fan, then you understand the delicate concept of jinxes. The notion that every little action can and will have an adverse effect on the outcome. Baseball in particular, perhaps because it is our nation’s oldest [and therefore most awesome] sport seems to permeate with these various forms of superstitions.

Players of course have a whole host of superstitions, ranging from stepping over baselines, to strictly following routines, to alienating a pitcher with complete silence if he hasn’t given up any hits yet.

But added to the 9 men on a baseball diamond, is the avid fan. The average Joe in the bleachers, or the person watching at home on the couch. The 10th man.

Scoff if you will, but as every real sports fan knows, this 10th man is absolutely critical to the outcome of the game. Anything and everything he [or she] does can forever change the outcome at any given moment. Maybe it’s wearing the same shirt several days in a row because the team keeps winning when you do. Maybe it’s continuing to drive around in your car longer than needed because a rally started the minute you began your journey. Maybe it’s the same reason why I can’t wear ANY colors of the opposing team on game day. Or why one never says “the game is over” before it’s over. Or why my friend Becky must eat an exorbitant amount  of “Runts” at my immediate command and at any given moment regardless as to what state the eventual sugar crash will leave her and her unborn child.

Because that’s our job. That’s what the 10th man does. We put ourselves out there day in and day out invoking all the power, karma, and good mo-jo we can. Games are played on the field, but it takes an entire team to win a championship. And on every team, is a 10th man.