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BE GONE, VILE SPIRIT.

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The Knicks play the Washington Wizards tonight. The Wizards aren't so, so awful-- they've won two straight and gotten some promising production from youngsters like Kevin Seraphin and Jordan Crawford-- but they're still a bad team that the Knicks should have no problem vanquishing. Of course, there is a meddling force standing between the Knicks and sure victory. It's Friday, which means tonight is Friday night, which means tonight's Knicks broadcast is "Friday Night Knicks", MSG's weekly hex on the Knicks' winning ways.

Every Friday, MSG invites Robert Randolph-- Knicks fan, friend to ownership, vector of doom-- onto our television screens and into our homes to giddily twang away at his pedal steel guitar and cast his damning pall over our fair team. The hex is undeniable-- according to the research of our resident spectrologist, poooooo, New York's winning percentage in Friday games over the last two years is appreciably worse (perhaps not significantly, but statistics don't apply to matters of the paranormal) than that of other days featuring MSG broadcasts.

So, tonight's game isn't just a typical "trap game" against a bad team. It is cursed, and with the rival Bucks playing the Pistons (although, who knows? Maybe there's a "Friday Night Bucks" curse with, like, Los Lobos or something), it has the potential for a devastating outcome that might undo New York's huge Wednesday night win.

This cannot happen. Take the jump to do your part in counteracting the hex.

To combat the meddling specter of Robert Randolph and "Friday Night Knicks", I recommend that all Knicks fans perform the following exercises today:

1. Eat breakfast. Got to eat breakfast. If you haven't already eaten breakfast, do so. It's good for you, curse or no curse.

2. Spend at least ten minutes of your day donning a hat or crown of some sort.

3. Find at least one item in your home or office that tells you it's Friday and change it to any other day of the week (though perhaps not Thursday).

4. Spill the blood of at least one lamb with your scimitar.

5. Tattoo the mark of the Sagittarius (Robert Randolph's zodiac sign) on your forehead.

6. Do none of the following things: 1. Take the bus. 2. Take the train. 3. Wear walkin' shoes.

7. If a peer utters the phrase "I gotta get there" in your vicinity, shout "AYY", then spill his or her blood with your scimitar.

8. Say "happy birthday" to Baron Davis. It's his birthday! Then say "happy birthday" to Jill Martin. It's her birthday tomorrow!

9. Eat lunch. Also important. Don't wanna get fatigued in the afternoon, you know?

10. This is the tough one, but you must do it. Watch this before the game. You must watch it at least once, but several times are recommended. Do not avert your gaze from the screen, tempting as it may be.

Feel free to recite any useful incantations you know as well. This is not the day to hold anything back, spiritually speaking. The "Friday Night Knicks" curse is real and it wants to cripple the Knicks' playoff chances. We can't let that happen, and if you follow these steps, we won't.