Mark Edwards: Old 'jinx' doesn't sink JSU or its ace pitcher
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
May 13, 2013 | 3565 views |  0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tiffany Harbin pitched four games in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament and won all four. (Photo courtesy of Jacksonville State University)
Tiffany Harbin pitched four games in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament and won all four. (Photo courtesy of Jacksonville State University)
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I readily admit I’m superstitious as a sports writer.

I have no problem believing in the old Sports Illustrated jinx — it always seems as soon as a team hits the cover, it loses.

There’s part of me that wonders if I write a story for the sports front page, am I dooming that particular team or athlete? I realize in my head what I write has nothing to do with how a team or player performs, but against all reason, my heart sometimes says otherwise.

So, you can’t imagine the relief I felt at seeing Jacksonville State ace Tiffany Harbin pitch her team to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament title this past week.

I wrote about her more than a month ago as she was getting within shouting distance of a bunch of school records.

Big story. Big photo. Front page of sports.

And she promptly finished out the regular season 0-4. The statistics show she didn’t pitch badly, but all the same, she wasn’t able to snag a win.

Again, I fully realize my 15-minute interview with her before just another April practice had nothing at all to do with her results. Absolutely nothing.

But when she won four games in a row at the OVC tournament, allowed only three earned runs in the event and took home a much-deserved MVP award, I couldn’t help but feel awfully good for her and her teammates for overcoming the power (or lack of it) the Edwards jinx inflicted.

Also, I feel extra good about something her coach, Jana McGinnis, emphasized for the story about her pitching ace: Harbin is especially good at putting the past behind her — good or bad. And in the OVC tournament, she proved that in a big way.

Readers, I now need your help. As JSU prepares for regionals, please don’t mention this opinion piece to her, her teammates, her coaches, her classmates — heck, don’t mention it to anyone who even lives in Jacksonville.

Contact Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com or 256-235-3570. Follow on Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.
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