I owe you a quick explanation before my last couple of posts. It has to do with the predictions I wrote at the end of the Spain – Holland preview.
My five (not so) random predictions were:
1) Xabi Alonso will score off a long-range shot.
2) Casillas will have at least three awkward moments with the Jabulani.
3) Del Bosque will not replace more than one player during the first 85 minutes of the match.
4) Howard Webb won’t show more than two yellow cards and won’t award a penalty kick to either team, regardless of what happens inside both areas.
5) Remember those US$ 200 that I saved? I’ll have spent them in food and drinks within 18 hours of my arrival in Joburg.
Have you ever heard of reverse-jinxing? That was exactly what I did with my predictions. Three things worried me the most before the match started: a) Webb letting the Dutch foul constantly and not booking players, b) Casillas having an off night, and c) Del Bosque taking too much time to replace players who are clearly tired. That was the body of my five predictions, only the exact opposite because that is how reverse-jinxing works. I have another rule to use the reverse jinx, which is that you have to give up at least one thing that you would really want to happen (Xabi Alonso scoring, let’s call it a sacrifice bunt)… And finally, I included #5 because it was so clear that there was NO chance for me to NOT spend those US$200 in less than 18 hours that I thought it would transfer some credibility to my remaining predictions.
What did actually happen?:
1) Xabi didn’t score: check (it was a sacrifice bunt, remember?)
2) Casillas had his best match of the tournament. Not a single awkward moment with the Jabulani. Check.
3) Del Bosque made his second substitution in the 84th minute: check, but not by much.
4) Howard Webb showed 14 yellows and one red: despite the number of cards, not really a check. He should have shown two reds in the first half, which would have changed the match completely. And the Dutch are still complaining, go figure.
5) OF COURSE I SPENT THE US$200!!! Took me 8 hours and 45 minutes because a good friend insisted in paying for lunch on Saturday… I was on pace for 4 hours…