Karma is a concept that most Western folks know as do good stuff, good stuff will happen to you, do bad stuff, bad stuff happens to you. That is a pretty wide generalization but not a horrible one. The actions you take in life will through cause and effect eventually bear fruit in your life or future life. The neverending birth, death, and rebirth cycle had to have some consequence for bad actions to get people to behave well, so the karma concept can act as a way to encourage good behavior. There is a hell in Hindu belief where you exist until your bad karma is run out. I like that idea. Hell should not be neverending, which is why the Catholic concept of purgatory always appealed to me. My Hindu friend in college would toy with the karma idea by doing good things int he hopes that he'd do well on a test or maybe get a specific girl to reciprocate feelings for him. I always knew this good karma build up had failed when he'd knock on my door and ask my roommate and I if we could tell him good websites from which to download "movie files". Karma is a fun concept and can have different interpretations.
Karma is on my mind right now as the New England Patriots might be the most perfect example of what can happen when you build up a lot of bad karma. Let's review. The Patriots first cheated while fielding one of the best rosters in the NFL if not the best. The Patriots then ran up the score on bad teams. In games versus good teams, they would tack on TDs in the waning seconds in an effort to stick it to them (think about the Dallas game). When an opposing team had a Hall of Fame coach at the helm, the Patriots managed to run the score up to 52-7. They looked unstoppable, but cracks did appear in the armor after the first 10 weeks. Unfortunately, bounces, penalties, and every other lucky twist would happen to help them on their quest for 19-0, the perfect NFL season. Beyond poor sportsmanship, their fans, known for being smug, took their smug attitude to another level and really made the rest of the nation dislike the team during a quest that everyone should have supported. Seriously, everyone should want to see a juggernaut go undefeated.
Did karma lay asleep on its watch? No. It decided to show up at the worst possible time. During the Super Bowl with the highest viewership ever, and second in total viewership behind that MASH finale, the Patriots were defeated by a solid team with a lot of fire. The reward for such a sour winner season was a humiliating defeat on the game's biggest stage. Throughout the season, I kept hoping a team would knock them off, but I did not realize the grand karmic retribution that was in store for the Patriots. Karma might not always be on time, but in this instance, the wait was worth it.
(Can someone please tell me why 105 million Americans in 1980 watched the last MASH? I loved that show when I watched it on reruns, but 105 million when the country was maybe 225 mil in size, c'mon?????)