For Luck

Eight years ago, in April, I was getting ready to play a roller derby game at Memorial Coliseum in Portland. That’s where the NBA team used to play. Now they play in the bigger arena next door.

I wasn’t the only one playing a game that day. The Blazers were playing a playoff game, too.

I’d checked the score on my Blackberry a couple of times, but we were down at least 20, and it was hard to get a signal in the basement locker rooms that smell like hockey pads. So I wrote off the Blazers. It was easy to do — lots of injuries and disappointments over the season and years. My own game needed my focus.

So I rolled out for my warmup, and after a couple of casual laps, saw someone sitting near the wall in a Blazers jersey. I stopped and showed him the Blazers wristband I was wearing over my wrist guard for luck. “So, what happened?” I asked, expecting a quick-but-friendly “yikes.”

He smiled. “We won.”

“WE WON?!”

“Brandon Roy scored 18 points in the fourth quarter.”

Is there a more pure joy than a miracle comeback — and getting the news while on roller skates?