GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

October 7, 2013

Fishtown Local: Forget the Bambino; let's end Marley's jinx

Fishtown Local
Gordon Baird

---- — I’ve been trying to grow a beard as fast as I can. Honest.

It’s not that I’m trying to jump on the bandwagon for the Red Sox. I’ve been a huge fan for years. I live and die by the day’s scores. I agonize over games that got away.

I annoy, harass, beg, borrow and steal from my friends who have access to tickets to hone my way in to buy them whenever I can. I even have a secret parking spot that always works for Fenway. I am totally prepared.

But I’m also totally scared, so I’m growing a beard to break the jinx.

What jinx, you ask? We got over that 86-year-thing a decade ago — twice! I know, I know but I’m hedging my bet, anyway.

You know how football has that thing where, when the NFC team wins the Super Bowl closest to the election, the Democrat always wins? Or when the Washington Redskins win their last game before the election, the Republican always wins?

Well, I’ve had one of those bellweather sequences running for 16 years — it’s never been wrong — and it doesn’t look rosy for the 2013 Red Sox.

I began auditioning at North Shore Music Theater in 1997 as a younger whippersnapper than I am now, 16 years distant.

I struck out in my attempts for the first four years, but in 2001, I got lucky and landed my first part in one of its shows. Woo-whoo, so did the Patriots, winning their first Super Bowl against the high flying, heavily favored Rams.

No Boston sports team won anything in 2002, but in 2003, the Pats were back in the money — and so was I at NSMT. In 2004, the Red Sox and the Pats both won and — guess what? — I got two parts that year.

The years 2005 and 2006 were busts for Gordon and for Boston teams, but 2007 found me and the Sox back on the big stage in winning roles. Next, 2008 landed me another role and the Celtics’ Big 3 took home the NBA Championship trophy. Then, 2009 and 2010 were a shutout for both Boston teams and this actor, but 2011 saw both the Bruins and Jacob Marley flying high with big Gordo grins.

In 2012, the part of Marley went to another actor and the Pats just missed winning the Super Bowl to the Giants. The streak continued — 7 parts and 7 corresponding Boston sports world championships, but 10 no-go years and 10 years with no champs at the same time. Sigh.

Well, that was then, this is now. The year 2013 is almost in the books, it doesn’t appear that there will be a Gloucester ghost circling jolly old London — and there is only one major sports title still up for grabs: the Red Sox.

Say it ain’t so, dudes. I’m trying to beat 16 years of numbers, grow a beard and hope the jinx won’t recognize me when I go out.

I’m kinda blond, though, and it doesn’t exactly look like the ones in the Sox lineups. I’m sprinkling on Miracle Grow plant food to encourage it, and I recently performed by own play, “Crazy Moon,” specifically to try and break the “parts” jinx. But I’m not sure any of it is gonna work, because streaks and jinxes and life don’t work that way, do they?

I’m gonna keep on auditioning at NSMT — I want Boston sports teams to keep winning championships. I am hoping 2013 will be the year this ridiculous pattern will be broken. I’d rather break the sequence than be able to have it go 17 years accurate.

So go Sox, Pats, Celts and Bruins — release me from this burden. Let my people go!

But just in case it doesn’t, wait’ll next year! And perhaps I should call my bookie . . .

Gordon Baird is a local actor and musician, co-founder of Musician magazine, and producer of “the Chicken Shack” community access television show.