Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Yes, that’s a word. It means fear of Friday the 13th.
Look at your calendar, people. Today is Friday the 13th and it’s a high school football Friday, to boot.
But I’m here to tell you let’s hug Friday the 13th today and the supposedly unlucky No. 13.
Not sure when and where it started with me, but 13 is my favorite number.
Now, I must admit good ol’ No. 13 has let me down on occasion.
For instance, I play the lottery numbers 7 (for Denver quarterback John Elway), 13 (my favorite number), 15 (for Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr, the number of the player of my first autograph), No. 23 (for Michael Jordan the greatest player in any sport ever), No. 24 (for baseball great Willie Mays) and No. 34 (for Mr. Texas, Nolan Ryan).
I’ve never won a thing.
For instance, the last time I was on a softball field I shattered my meniscus and tore my anterior cruciate ligament while wearing jersey No. 13 playing for the InkSlingers.
But I remain devoted to the No. 13 and Friday the 13th.
That’s why tonight on this supposedly unlucky Friday the 13th I ask you to take a peek on the football field and give an extra cheer for that player wearing No. 13.
While my search for my fellow lovers of the No. 13 didn’t go all that well — you fans at the Randall-Canyon game tonight will be out of luck as no No. 13 jersey will be worn — plenty of No. 13s will be running around area football fields on Friday the 13th.
Like the Amarillo High-Hereford game in Dick Bivins Stadium.
AHS defensive back Ryan Westlake has grown to love wearing No. 13.
“My freshman year, I got 13 and I wanted to keep it going,” Westlake said.
“When I got 13, my parents said it was a bad luck number, but I wanted to prove them wrong. I like the routine of keeping the same number.”
Well said, Ryan. Well said.
Many myths exist on why No. 13 and Friday the 13th bring bad luck, all the way back to the medieval times when Friday was “hangman’s day” and during Jesus’ time seating 13 people at a table was seen as bad luck because Judas Iscarot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, is said to have been the 13th guest at the Last Supper.
In 1980 the Friday the 13th phenomenon gained energy with the start of the “Friday the 13th” slasher movie franchise with a star named Jason wearing a hockey mask.
Well, that brings us back to tonight and high school football.
Arguably the best small-school football game during the 2017 Texas Panhandle football season falls tonight on Friday the 13th when unbeaten Childress (5-0) hosts unbeaten and No. 6-ranked Canadian (5-0) in District 1-3A, Division II opener.
Just saying, Childress is coached by “Jason” Sims.
I say skip paraskevidekatriaphobia tonight.
I say enjoy your Friday the 13th and give a shoutout to those players who will wear the No. 13 tonight.
Contact Sports Editor Lance Lahnert at 806-345-3312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.