On Sept. 9, the New England Patriots were accused of stealing signals during a game against the New York Jets.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ever since then, the struggling Red Sox have been playing lethargic baseball, dropping six of 10 and allowing the Yankees to creep to within 1 ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½ games.
A team that was considered unbeatable a month ago suddenly has both media and fans wondering how the wheels came off.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The bullpen seems hopeless, Manny Ramirez is still not in the lineup, and the once insurmountable 14 ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½-game lead is wilted.
The question on our minds at Bugs & Cranks is this ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ can the bad karma created by one franchise somehow have a cross-sporting event effect on another franchise from the same city?ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Since we here at B&C have little knowledge of karma, we went to professional tarot card reader Madam Thermopoli at the 43rd Street Psychic Healers here in New York City.
BUGS & CRANKS: Good morning, Madame Thermopoli. LetÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s start with a basic definition of karma.
MADAME THERMOPOLI: YouÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ve been to a coffee shop, youÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ve seen the tip jars ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ karma is a boomerang.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Whatever you do good or bad comes back at you.
B&C: Can that apply to sporting teams?
MT: It applies to everything.
B&C: But do baseball karma and football karma intermix?ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â LetÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s say a football team from one city cheats.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Could that have an adverse effect on a baseball team from the same city?
MT: I donÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢t see why not.
B&C: Now Madame Thermopoli, youÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢re familiar with the Patriots’ spying incident, correct?
MT: IÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢m a JetsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ season ticket holder ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ WhatÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s so funny?
B&C: Nothing.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â ItÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s just that ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ
MT: ItÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s just what?
B&C: ItÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s just that youÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢re a fortune teller, but you spend money on JetsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ season tickets.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â ItÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s not very clairvoyant of you, thatÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s all.
MT: Do you want me to answer your stupid f**cking baseballÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â questions or do you want to crack jokes?
B&C: Sorry, Madame Thermopoli.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â In your clearly well-proven track record as a soothsayer, could bad karma generated from the Patriots cheating somehow be the reason the Red Sox are faltering down the stretch?
MT (looking at tarot cards): The Four of Swords.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Boston traditionally is a very superstitious place.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Bear in mind for close to a decade fans believed the Red Sox were not winning because of a curse brought on by a piano at the bottom of a pond.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Certainly bad karma generated on such a massive caliber could cause other Boston teams to perform poorly if enough people believed in the bad karma.
B&C: Is this bad karma enough to cripple the Red Sox in October?
MT: Like all October winners, this year comes down to pitching.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â So what has been the bread and butter all year for Boston is suddenly not so impressive.
B&C: How about those Yankees?
MT (looking at tarot cards): The Knight of Pentacles.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The Bombers are not to be underestimated.
B&C: Which team will go furthest in the playoffs?
MT (looking at tarot cards): I show The Chariot, a good omen for both teams.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â But while they have the power to control their destinies, there are inner demons.
B&C: Like bad karma?
MT: Like J.D. Drew in left field for the Red Sox.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Or Jason Giambi on first base for the Yankees.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Or unknown injuries to Ramirez and Ortiz and Clemens and Jeter.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Or maybe the Red Sox will forget they had the best record in the league up until yesterday.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Or maybe A-RodÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s bat will go cold in October as it traditionally does.
B&C: On to the big question, Mrs. Thermopoli ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ which team will win it all?
MT: What makes you think either team will win it all?
B&C: Oh, what the hell do you know ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ youÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢re a Jets fan, you crazy witch.