CRYSTAL BALLS: CALL ME KARNAK

By Clark DeLeon

hunch (hunch) – n. 1. a hump 2. a chunk; lump; hunk. 3. (Colloq.) a feeling about something not based on known facts; premonition or suspicion; from the superstition that it brings good luck to touch a hunchback.

I get hunches sometimes. A couple of years ago, for instance, the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Mets in the first two games of the World Series played in New York. In the next day’s column I wrote, “If you know anything about baseball you know this puts the Mets right where they want to be.” I had a hunch that the Mets would sweep the next four games and win the World Series in six games.

My hunch was wrong, of course. The Mets won it in seven.

Still, I like hunches. Especially when there’s no money involved. And I got a hunch on Friday night during the third period of the championship game of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League between the Philadelphia Wings and the New York Saints.

John Conley had just scored his second goal within 19 seconds to put the Wings up 10-6, and I turned to the guy sitting next to me in the press box and said, “I have a prediction, Mike. The Saints are going to score the next three goals.”

My hunch was correct. But I had chosen the wrong person in whom to confide. Mike French is the general manager of the Wings. When the Saints scored their third successive goal, French wouldn’t even look at me. By then he probably thought that I was the Hunchback of Notre Dame’s evil twin.

“Don’t worry,” I told him. “It’s in the bag. They just needed that to wake up.”

I don’t think he believed me until the Saints’ last desperation shot sailed wide as time ran out and the Wings won their first championship by a single goal.

It’s a good thing, too. I also had a hunch that if the Wings lost, I wouldn’t get out of the Spectrum alive.

(Philadelphia Inquirer, April 10, 1989)

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