On Sunday my sister drives me to the bar so I can watch the Bengals play the Dallas Cowboys. "Well, I hope they win," she says. "But I also hope they lose, so you'll have something new to write about."
I don't say anything. She's just trying to be positive, and she's also the reason I'm not riding a bicycle. But in my head I curse her for hexing Cincinnati, who have won four games straight, who could pass the Steelers in the race for an AFC wild-card slot if they win this week, who are In the Hunt. I am now a person who thinks things like this. I am now a person who throws around the phrase "in the hunt," which is a stupid phrase and also maybe not grammatically correct. Why isn't it "on the hunt"? When in doubt on vexing usage questions, I'm with Ronnie Van Zant.
I have maybe lost perspective, a little bit. These are still the Cincinnati Bengals we're talking about. I have been warned and warned about investing my emotional capital here.