To bargain hunter Caryn Amante, buying NFL jerseys in the offseason seemed like a good idea. But the Massachusetts mother’s four children have banned her from sporting-goods stores this year, after she gave them Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, and Dont’a Hightower jerseys for Christmas in 2014.
Receiver Julian Edelman is out with a foot injury. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower is out with a knee injury. Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed…well, any sports fan can see where this is going. Boston sportswriters have written at length about the so-called “Caryn Curse.”
“I own a Brady jersey, and I am freaking out right now,” said Caryn’s 20-year-old son Ricky. “I already told her that if Brady goes down next Sunday, I’m spending Christmas with my girlfriend’s parents. I don’t care how good mom’s cobbler is.”
This is not the Amante family’s first go-round with sports retail voodoo. The summer before the 2008 NFL season, Caryn bought husband Tom, a Giants fan, a Plaxico Burress jersey at 50 percent off. That November, Burress accidentally shot himself in the thigh.
“Dad lost it, and told her to never buy him a jersey again,” said Caryn’s 16-year-old son Marc. “We didn’t really think anything of it. And it hurt the Giants, so we were actually kind of happy. She doesn’t even watch sports. She thought Plaxico was the name of a shower cleaner. But it’s gone too far. I even Googled ‘emancipation’ last month.”
Worse yet, the bad luck has transcended the Amante family bloodline. Ricky’s girlfriend, Ravens fan Kerri Miklos, has spent the last month regretting last year’s gift from Caryn: a Joe Flacco jersey.
“I always knew she never liked me, but this proves it,” Miklos said.
NFL analysts have grown concerned for the health of Bill Belichick after Caryn’s nephew, eight-year-old Danny, put a Patriots hoodie on his Christmas list. The move has prompted threats of violence from his cousins.
“That hood ain’t gonna be the only thing that’s cut off,” Ricky said.
Natalie McGill is a writer, comedian, and Ravens fan who asked Caryn Amante for an Andy Dalton jersey. You should follow her on Twitter.