I think some aliens might have visited me when I was really little. I had a bedroom on the second floor of our house in Savage, and when I woke up one morning I explained to my parents what I had seen out the window.

Back then, I called them the "pig-faced boys" and told my mom that they were looking in the window. When I was little, I didn't know what it was and my parents always made light of the situation and thought it was funny.

The older I get, the more I am convinced it was aliens... what else could it be? There are a lot of unexplained things in this world, maybe aliens are one of them.

With the Vikings trailing 21-10 in the second half of Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, I realized I didn't have my lucky Vikings sweatshirt on. It's a plain gray sweatshirt that I bought 23 years ago at JC Penney as a 15 year old cashier at the department store.

I rushed to the dryer and threw it on, even though it was still a little wet from the wash. My confidence level rose.

Sure enough, despite a muffed punt by Minnesota's Chad Beebe that looked like it would seal the Vikings' fate, the team came back to win and stay alive in the playoff race.

There's a lot of magic in the world, maybe my sweatshirt is part of it.

When I was a kid, before every MLB game was available at the click of a mouse, my dad would wake me up in the middle of the night to come watch.... it.

He was very careful with his words and would always gesture or try to play charades until I (wordlessly) figured out what he was talking about. They had broken into whatever was on ESPN and were showing the last inning of a potential no-hitter.

The rule is, if you acknowledge (or God forbid say out loud) that a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter, the no-hitter will be lost. We sat in silence, me half-asleep, and awaited the fate of the man on the mound.

I can remember no-hitters by Darryl Kile, Chris Bosio and Kenny Rogers and I'm sure there were many more. All of them were undoubtedly aided by the fact that my dad and I never spoke the words sure to jinx them while they pitched thousands of miles away.

There are a lot of unexplained phenomenon in the world, maybe not jinxing no-hitters is one of them. Maybe the jinx is real.

When I was 16, having just earned my driver's license, I drove to my grandpa's house to watch the Twins/Yankees game with him. It was the first (and, sadly, would turn out to be the only) time I had gone to his house, by myself, to watch a game.

He was a Yankees fan from New York, I was a Twins fan from Minnesota. I'll never forget the date: May 17th, 1998. The day David Wells threw a perfect game against the Twins.

It was as if the universe was putting on this show just for the two of us, sitting on the couch in that apartment watching a game together, creating a memory I would never forget.

During these tough times, we all need to believe in some sort of magic. We need to believe that there are things we cannot explain happening in the world. We need to believe that the things we say and do can affect how the world works.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lucky shirt to wash.

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