When my siblings and I attended Wheaton Central High School, our football team was, shall we say, mediocre. The Tigers were never the worst team in the conference, but we rarely won more than five games in any given season. The team started to improve immediately after the last of the Heaton kids graduated; that year, 1988, the Tigers made it into the post-season for the first time in history, advancing to the third round before being knocked out. The following year, they made it to the fourth round. They made it all the way to the final game in 1990 and 1991, only to lose (to the same team) both times. By 1992, all three of the Heaton kids had moved out of state, and lo and behold, the Tigers made it back to the finals ... and this time they won. Since then, they've made it into the playoffs every year but one, and they won the title five more times. Their sixth championship was won just yesterday, when they beat Glenbard West 31-24 in double overtime.
Now, I'm not saying that the Heaton kids were jinxing the Tigers; I'm saying it was me. (Though my brother and sister probably didn't help the team any.) Consider: after high school, I spent two years at the local community college; in 1988, when I left Illinois to go to college in Iowa, the Tigers made it to the playoffs for the first time. In 1992, after I moved to DC, they started winning championships. Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins have gone from being a perennial playoff contender to being a consistent under-achiever. They won the Super Bowl in three of the ten seasons preceding my move to DC; in the 17 seasons since, they've made it to the playoffs only four times, never advancing past the second round. Coincidence? Perhaps, but who can say?
Anyway, the point of all this is to say congratulations to my high school alma mater for winning their sixth state football title. Go them!