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I'm a very superstitious sports fan. For example, I haven't washed my jersey since the playoffs began. Why? Because the Sharks have won every game and I don't want to mess up any mojo -- even when some drunk jackass behind me spilled a little strawberry margerita on it (I did clean up the spots). During college, I once came home during a playoff game from my own hockey game and still had my cup on. Because the Sharks came from behind that game, my roommates and I decided it was important that I wear my cup for the rest of the series.

Between my friends and I, every time someone has gotten a new jersey with a name/number, the player has gone through a slump. For example, when we gave my buddy an Evgeni Nabokov jersey, Nabby had a bad season. Another friend bought a Selanne jersey halfway through the 2002-2003 campaign when Teemu was on pace for 40 goals. Right afterwards, Selanne went dry for the rest of the season and only finished with 28 goals. Heck, even when I bought a new blank jersey, the entire team slumped.

This season, every time I have criticized a certain player (whom I will not mention so I don't wreck his mojo), he has performed well. Consequently, every time I have remarked an opposing player has not been playing well, said player has immediately hurt the Sharks.

If you've ever read Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch (the crappy Jimmy Fallon movie was based on his excellent book), you know that sports superstitions occur no matter what sport or what league you follow. When mojo's working, you just don't mess with it.

How does sports mojo work? I'm not sure -- perhaps every fan does one or two things and collectively the sports mojo comes together or breaks apart based on the cumulative actions of each fan. Or perhaps I'm just stupid (along with every other superstitious fan).

One aspect of mucking with mojo is talking about a future series before it has come. Consequently, I fear that my participation in The Battle of California blog may have had adverse effects on the Sharks/Oilers series. Sure, it could just be that the Edmonton fans gave their home team a huge boost, and the team experienced some bad breaks in Game 4 before collapsing into a defensive shell. Or it could be the team came out in a defensive shell for Game 3 and just played scared for most of the game.

All's I know is that I'm not a superstitious guy except for gambling and sports. I just hope the power of my unwashed jersey will be enough to get the Sharks back on track tomorrow.