On June 30, 2000, I found myself at a Braves-Mets game at Shea Stadium as the Mets fell behind, 8-1.
This was the first Mets-Braves series in NYC after John Rocker's infamous verbal trashing of New York in a December '99 Sports Illustrated article. I'd bought tickets to two games, hoping to be there to boo Rocker in person for being a huge jerk. The first night of the series, I had that opportunity, and then watched the Mets fall to Rocker's unhittable pitches. This night was Game 2. My friend Tim and I were sitting up in the nosebleed seats, next to a group of special-needs adults with questionable hygiene who kept accidentally sitting in our seats, necessitating a few polite discussions on our part with the group leader.
The situation seemed grim on several levels, so I called my Mets-fan pal Jason down in his regular seats about a half mile closer to the action. I informed him that his team sucked, adding that if they came back to win, I would eat my shoe. It turned out to be one of the biggest Mets comebacks ever.
Final score: Mets 11, Braves 8.
About two years later, on Saturday, May 25, 2002, my brother and I were watching the Boston Celtics in the playoffs on TV, and he became increasingly agitated as the Celts fell woefully behind the New Jersey Nets. The Celtics were down 21, and I decided to try something. I announced, "Chris, if the Celtics win tonight, I will eat my shoe." It ended up being one of the biggest Celtics comebacks ever.
Final score: Celtics 94, Nets 90.
Last night, I watched the Celtics not bother to show up for the first quarter of Game 4 in the NBA Finals against the LA Lakers. My brother and I emailed back and forth as the game went on, with the Celts down as much as 24 points. Around halftime, with the Celts still down 58-40, I emailed my brother: "If they win tonight, Chris, I will eat my shoe."
Unless you live under a rock, you probably know what happened -- one of the greatest Celtics comebacks ever.
Final score: Celtics 97, Lakers 91.
So I have concluded that I have magical powers. This morning, my brother emailed me: "What does shoe leather taste like?" I wouldn't know -- the best thing about my apparent powers is that eating a shoe doesn't appear to be required. I haven't followed through on the promise yet.