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Jinxing Guidelines

[Note by Basketball John, 12/12/09 3:54 PM MST ] I should have posted this to start the season. While we're waiting for the Lakers tonight, here's a quick refresher

The topic of jinxing comes up a lot in SLC Dunk threads, mainly game threads. As much as I've tried to downplay a jinx, there have just been too many coincidences where I've stated something in a game preview/recap, or only to have the Jazz do the opposite. I've toyed with fate too many times.

The latest example was my Magic 8 explanation. Over the 12-game winning streak (which will now be forbidden to talk about), the Jazz were closing out games right and left. The last 8 minutes of the streak showed the Jazz either pull away in that time or come back for the win. I also included Deron Williams in that talk because his number is 8. Actually, I was going to label it the Magic 5 or 6 but 8 sounded better and the Williams connection was too much to pass up. I could stretch it to 8. Plus, at the 8 minute mark is normally when he comes back in to finish the game.

That came after the Indiana game back on March 10.

What happened after that? Well, the Jazz went on to lose the next three in a row because THEY COULDN'T CLOSE OUT A GAME including one of the worst losses in the team's history to Miami. While they never had a chance to close out the Orlando game, it was directly related to the 3OT loss to the Heat the night before.

Thankfully though, Deron seems impervious to jinxes as he's averaged 20 & 10.6 since then. Sorry about that. Strike that, reverse it.

So at this request, I give you the rules of jinxing. While this may cover some Jazz-specific things, they probably apply to most teams.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list. Leave your comments below and I'll update this document. The comments will be open forever and this post will appear permanently on the sidebar. I'd like to have a section called counter-jinxes as well. What are some of your best counter-jinxes?

And don't worry about any potential jinxes in this post. I was worried that an entire post on jinxes would jinx the Jazz forever. I spoke with the basketball gods about this. The gods have given me one free pass so that the rules can be set. At least that's what they told me. I hope it wasn't a trap.

The do-nots

  • The biggest rule of all seems to be that jinxes only apply when they are written or spoken. If you keep your thoughts in your head, the basketball gods cannot read your mind.
  • Do not mention a streak of any kind. Whether it be winning, consecutive games without an injury, consecutive free-throws, etc. They will come to an end at the next opportunity.


    "I would love to see the Jazz extend this winning streak to 13!"
    Unnamed announcer: "Deron Williams is 8/8 from the free-throw line tonight."

  • Do not comment on how well someone is playing. They will now turn to suckitude.


    "Memo scored 21 points in the first half! He's going to end up with 40!"
    "Brewer has been playing out of his mind over the last two months."

  • Do not state anything as fact before it happens.


    Ross Siler: "There's also no doubt that the Jazz will win out at home - - they have Phoenix, New York, Minnesota, Golden State and the L.A. Clippers left - - and take an 18-game winning streak (one shy of the franchise record) at EnergySolutions Arena into the playoffs."

    Thankfully, there are counter-jinxes.

The dos

  • You are only allowed to say something good about the team once it becomes fact. You can comment on a 40+ point game and be excited once it's in the box score. Though you now risk jinxing that player for their coming game(s).
  • If you would like to comment on scores of other teams, state the scores as fact without bias as to any one particular team lest the basketball gods know which team you favor.


    "Houston - 90, Minnesota - 106, 1:06 left in the fourth."

  • Reverse jinxing works. It seems as though unintended reverse jinxing works better than intentional reverse-jinxing.


    From the PHX game thread, "With the Jazz down 88-81, I pretty much gave up hope and sent the following text to one of my diehard Suns fan friends: You guys deserve to make the playoffs. We do not. This is a completely ridiculous performance."

    "Yao Ming always kills us. He's probably going to go for 40 & 20 tonight."

    And to the extreme (in a good way)


  • Leave your thoughts in the comments and I'll update.