Crow's-Feet Chronicles: I'm stuck in the loser's locker room
By Cindy Baker Burnett
Jul 23, 2018
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Thirty-five or forty years ago, I wanted to move to Albuquerque. I had never been to Albuquerque, but I knew it was my kind of town. Why? Because they were loyal to their losers, and if ever there was a loser, ‘twas I.

Remember the famous football game between Albuquerque and Las Vegas? Albuquerque lost, 100-0. No kidding; it was a real wash-out. My kind of wash-out: total. At the half, with Las Vegas leading 61-0, both coaches agreed to play ten-minute quarters to alleviate the torture; but it didn’t help. Las Vegas still scored another thirty-nine points. Total yards scored: Las Vegas, 565; Albuquerque, minus eleven. I loved it. If I had been there, I would have kissed every player on the Albuquerque team. I knew exactly how they felt; I’d been minus for years.

Like the Albuquerque football team, I tried. I really did. But I could devote an entire summer’s day to housecleaning---changing beds, cleaning closets, picking up toys, books, clothes, et cetera, vacuuming the den, dining room, bedrooms---and by the time I got back to the den, I had lost at least eleven yards. One could never tell I had been there.

I couldn’t win. At anything. One day when the kids were little, I spent half a day cleaning my refrigerator, only to discover that it wasn’t moldy bacon and dehydrated leftovers that were causing it to malfunction---it was the motor. It had died. I traded in the cleanest refrigerator in town.

I went to a garage sale and was thrilled to find an almost new, very expensive, baseball mitt. What a buy! It would have made a perfect Christmas gift for our ten-year-old son, Dusty.

When Dusty opened his gifts, he thanked me for the mitt, and thoughtfully waited until the end of the day to tell me that “while it’s a great glove and I really like it and everything, I can’t use it.”

“Why not?” I asked. “I know it’s a little big, but you’ll get used to it, and you will grow into it.”

“I won’t grow into this one, Mom,” he replied sorrowfully. “My thumb’s in the wrong place.” It was a left-handed glove.

I was a loser, and I had long been resigned to that fact. I was not only a loser; I was an expert at picking other losers. (There is no truth to the fact that they became losers just because I picked them.) In 1968, I, like many other football fans, watched a fabulous guy named Bart Starr play for the Green Bay Packers, then the top pro football team in the country. They immediately became the bottom team in the country, and I have no doubt that I was responsible. (I won’t even mention what I’ve done to the Cowboys.)

My most spectacular “achievement” occurred in the 1972 Olympics. Knowing my ability to jinx an athletic event, I decided not to watch the championship basketball game between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. But on hearing some commotion in the last few seconds of the game, my curiosity overwhelmed me and I did a terrible thing. I sneaked a glance at the television set. You know what happened. I threw the Olympic arena clock out of whack, the Russians were granted three extra seconds of play and won the game by a lousy two points. I fully expected the CIA to have me arrested. In 2012, Team USA finished the Olympic Games with 17 more medals than China. Honestly, though, I felt for China.

They had to make all of our “We’re #1” t-shirts.