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The Murphy’s Laws of Sports

By Sierra Trujillo

We all know of Murphy’s Law: the chance of the buttered side of the bread falling face down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet; you will always find something in the last place you look; and, my favorite, the other line always moves faster. Well, I thought of a few sports-related Murphy’s Law-like instances that tend to occur whether watching or playing.
1. During a baseball game, when a team puts on a “shift” for the opposing batter, more often than not the batter will hit the ball in the hole created by said shift.
I think the ratio of times that I’ve seen the shift actually work compared to times when it just created a mile-wide hole for a batter to aim for is drastically skewed in favor of the batter. Can you tell I’m not a fan of the shift?
2. When sitting behind an empty row of bleachers, the only people to come sit in that row will sit right in front of you. (Also applies to movie theaters.)
You can see it now. You sit down with your hot dog and soda and have a clear view of the field in front of you. It’s five minutes to game time, so there’s no way anyone from that row is going to show up now, right? Wrong. They will show up and they will be loud and disruptive and directly in front of you (and probably extremely tall), and spill their drinks while they’re at it.
3. Your best golf swings will always happen when you’re alone, but your worst will happen when you’re with a large groups of friends.
I’ll admit I have not experienced this one first hand, but I could only imagine that it has to be true according to the stories that my dad tells.
4. If you hit a ball that is almost a home run, but goes foul, you will strike out that same at-bat.
This one seems so true it hurts. The ball pulls foul right at the last moment and the batter, who has started to trot around the bases, has to take the walk back to home plate. You may think “Oh, they were that close before. They can just straighten out their swing and we will all be jumping and cheering.” Well, no, more likely they are going to foul off a few bad pitches before they ultimately strike out looking…
5. The hole in the defense is always on the opposite side of the field of where the running back is headed.
I guess it’s not always true because you see breakaway runs when the player obviously had to find a hole to run through. But, how many times have you been sitting in the stands to see (what you think is) a wide-open route that the player is running away from?
6. The number of baskets you make in warm-up is inversely related to the number you will make in the actual game.
Attending many basketball games over the years, I’ve watched a lot of warm-ups. And I either see a player make 90 percent of shots or practically none during these few minutes. I then find it interesting to see how many these players make during an actual game. And to my surprise it always turns out that the players that struggle in warm-ups make every shot they throw up, compared to those who sink every warm-up shot who then air-ball when it actually matters.
7. If you’re an Oakland Athletics fan, your favorite player will be traded, and probably to another American League rival.
While the SF Giants may be my favorite team, I have a soft spot for the A’s. However, it seems that whenever a player is doing really well (i.e. Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Kazmir), that player will be traded, and to a team with actual playoff potential. And then you will cry. (Or maybe that’s just me…)
8. When kicking a field goal, if the announcers start to talk about how many the kicker has made in a row, the probability of him missing this kick increases drastically.
This can apply to really any sport and any position. If the announcers start talking about a record a player holds, or a streak he’s on, said player is almost guaranteed to muff his next play.
These are just a few of the many instances that happen all throughout sports. Can you think of any?

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