KARMA def. The total effect of a person’s actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person’s existence, regarded as determining the person’s destiny.
I’m not a believer in Karma. It just has never rung true for me. I have many stories of how karma failed me. This one is my favorite.
Early on during my comedy career, I was performing at a club in Chicago. The last night of my run happened to fall on Halloween. The club’s bartender was a sexy redhead, who had been flirting with me the whole week. After my final set, she had asked me if I wanted to go to a party that night. Now, being only 3 hours from home, I had planned on driving home that night. This also happened to be the home where my wife cohabited with me. Despite what a particular body part was telling me, I made a moral decision and told the seductive vixen that I needed to go home to my wife.
Driving home that night, high on the notion that I had done the right thing, karma stepped out in front of me. You see, Karma was the name I dubbed the 400 pound deer who ran in front of my car on Interstate 65. Considering I was driving a Toyota Celica, things did not go well for me, as my auto instantly went off to the side of the road. Some would say I was lucky that I didn’t have more than bruises and a mild concussion from the accident. I would not be one of these people, as I looked at my now totaled car and realized the hell that awaited me. (The lengthy wait on an insurance check and the stress of shopping for a replacement vehicle.)
I bring up the subject of Karma because the best recent example of how Karma is fiction happened on Sunday. I’m speaking about another heartbreaking loss for Colts coach Tony Dungy.
While most of the focus has been on Peyton Manning’s failure to win the big one, the failure of Tony Dungy’s teams to make the Super Bowl is just as relevant. Dungy, who had a tragedy that completely trumps a football loss (the suicide of his son), seems to be cursed on and off the field. While many famous people who present themselves as morally righteous often are exposed as hypocrites, there is no person in the NFL who is more respected as a quality person than Tony Dungy. The whole “good things happen to good people” concept seems to elude him, though.
After appearing unbeatable for the first 13 games, the Colts were exposed some by the Chargers 3-4 defense in week 14. Using 4 linebackers seems to be Peyton Manning’s kryptonite, as this defense offers more blitzing opportunities, which help nullify number 18’s every down audibles. One could argue that without good karma the Colts wouldn’t have even had a chance to tie the game at the end, as a horrible challenge overturn and a miracle fumble recovery put them in position to go to overtime. This arugument seems pretty flawed overall, though, considering how dominant the Colts were most of the season.
To me these incidents just point to how random life can be, despite the percentages. While I’m not saying that Bill Cowher and the Steelers aren’t deserving candidates for the elusive thing called karma, Tony Dungy sits on top of the list. Sports are the best example of how karma is about as real as guardian angels and haunted houses. No other profession lives the ideal more than football that “life is tough, wear a helmet.” In my world that phrase rings a lot truer than karma. Here’s hoping Tony Dungy’s luck changes over the next year. Now I’m off to watch Bambi with my daughter. Silently I will be rooting for that little fawn to bite the bullet.