It's likely not many of you woke up this morning looking for the box score of last night's basketball game between UMass and St. Peter's, part of the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden.
But I was there, along with my four-year-old son. And the good guys won, as UMass bested St. Peter's, 66-49.
UMass had a powerhouse basketball team from 1990 — my senior year — until the late 1990s. Along the way, the school had one trip to the Final Four and two to the Sweet 16, in the heralded NCAA tournament.
Things have not been as good of late, and the team has drifted back into mediocrity, a place it held throughout the 1980s.
I figured it was time for a little good luck charm.
I'm an avid Boston Red Sox fan — my wife has adopted the team, too — and we've taken my son to six regular season games over the past three seasons. Only one of those was at Boston's Fenway Park. Two were at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and three were at Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles.
And in those six games, the Red Sox have won six times.
And not just wins, but blowouts. Last spring, we saw the Sox wallop the Yanks, 17-1, at Yankee Stadium. In August, we saw the Sox beat Tampa, 10-6, on a rainy Boston night.
And since my son became a fan, the Sox have made the playoffs three times in three years, including their dramatic 2004 World Series championship — the team's first in 86 years.
Coincidence? I think not.
I've told friends and co-workers about my son's good luck streak, and they find it hard to believe. Some have joked I should order tickets for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, or have my son pick numbers for Powerball.
Can my son's good luck rub off on this UMass team, and propel the squad to its first NCAA tournament bid in seven years?
There is precedent for cosmic changes in the team's fortunes.
Most people think that UMass became a powerhouse because of the fine recruiting and coaching of John Calipari. But I'll share with you another piece of the puzzle.
In August of 1989 — after 12 consecutive losing seasons at UMass — I returned back to campus to help oversee the back-to-school issue of the campus newspaper, The Daily Collegian. Two of my roommates were sports editors at the paper, and knew the school's athletes.