Should Announcers Talk About No-Hitters In Progress?

One of the great things about sports is the traditions and superstitions. These vary from trivial fan behaviors like not changing the channel on the tv while watching the game and not changing seats to players not stepping on the line when walking off the field. Sport traditions such as these separate real fans from bandwagon fans and add a sense of surrealism to the game.

In baseball, one of the most well-known unwritten rules is that of not explicitly saying there is a no-hitter/perfect game in progress. There most likely is not a correlation between saying it and causing it to end. Breaking this rule will earn glares, as a no-hitter and perfect game are two of the most outstanding single-game performances any baseball player can have.

While watching the Mets game tonight, Matt Harvey lost his perfect game with 6 2/3 IP. Prior to the start of the inning I tweeted “Gary Cohen needs to stop jinxing Mets’ Harvey”. I cannot count the amount of times Cohen would acknowledge one of these in progress and the following inning it would end.

It is his job as a play-by-play analyst to update the audience, especially those who recently tuned in, on the game’s happenings. However, could this not be compensated by flashing towards to box score? Considering the fact that Scorecenter and other apps automatically update smart-phone users on breaking news, it is not like commentators are the only sources of information for viewers.

I don’t think the announcers need to say it explicitly. As the game wears on, there are many subtle clues that viewers can pick up on as well. Form crowd reactions to outs to the announcer saying “he is pitching very well”, such a superstition should not by crossed. What does an announcer have to lose? Even though it is extremely unlikely that mentioning the words no-hitter or perfect game causes jinxing of such events.


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