The numbers game

My favourite number is seven. I say this as it’s been so lucky for me. I’ve never used it to my advantage, like knocking on wood seven times. I’ve never been to Vegas and landed on all sevens. I’ve never worn a jersey in any sport I played that even had the number seven.

In fact, the only player that wore the number seven in professional sports that I liked was back in the 90s. It was Kevin Johnson of the Phoenix Suns. Yet I still claim it as my favourite number.

It really makes no sense because I do things in threes. I find three a more rounded number. At the grocery store I never buy one apple. Two apples? Whaddaya gonna do with two apples? I have to have three apples or none at all!

I even prefer three in my combo. Four just seems weird. It’s burger, fries and a drink.

But when I look at sports I realize I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with three.

Baseball has three outs and hockey has three periods. Basketball has the three pointer and football has three downs (Canadian Football League). But let’s go deeper. The biggest thing in baseball is getting that triple play. Nothing cooler than a triple play defensively.

Sure hockey has three periods, but really nothing beats the hat trick. That’s when someone scores three goals in a game. They don’t care if you score two goals or four. The hat trick, that’s the big one.

Basketball introduced the three-point line in the 1979-80 season. When the game is on the line in basketball, everyone is looking to stop the last shot which is usually taken from the three-point line. And to get real props in the league you can’t just dunk, you have to be a threat to score from three-point range. I won’t even mention the three seconds in the key rule, which is an illegal defence.

In football, I find the three downs just one facet that interests me. The most intriguing thing that is counted in threes is minutes and most don’t even notice the three-minute warning. The three-minute warning occurs in the last three minutes of play. You see when the ball is downed inbounds; the clock runs as soon as play is whistled in (basically when the refs are ready). Otherwise if the ball goes out of bounds the play clock doesn’t start until the ball is snapped.

And as far as lucky number seven goes. In Vegas, if you get sevens, it’s no surprise you’re a winner, only when you get three of them.