Equestrianisms: Sports Curses
equestrienne10 is our resident sports fanatic, and apparently, is also unlucky. Please stay away from the White Sox, equestrienne! —Sparkitors
I don’t usually go to Wikipedia for help, but this time, I’m desperate. In the past six months, every team and athlete I follow plays incredibly well for a while, but then suddenly loses a big game. I follow almost a dozen different teams/athletes, and this has happened to every single one of them. So I decided to research sports curses, and how other people have broken them.
In 1999, the popular football video game Madden started featuring a different NFL player on each of its covers. Since then, at least nine players featured on the cover have suffered injuries that affected or ended their seasons. Sufferers of the so-called “Madden Curse” include Brett Favre, Vince Young, Troy Polamalu, Michael Vick, and Donovan McNabb.
Some fans believe so strongly in the curse that in 2007, when EA Sports announced its decision to feature LaDanian Tomlinson on the next Madden cover, a website called SaveLTFromMadden.com was created. Tomlinson declined the cover opportunity, but claimed it had nothing to do with the curse. So far, the “Madden Curse” remains unbroken.
Curse of the Bambino
Probably the most famous sports curse of all time, it was said to have been started when the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth (the “Bambino”) to the New York Yankees in 1918. Before the trade, the Red Sox had won five World Series in sixteen years; they didn’t win the Series again for the next 86 years. Red Sox fans tried countless times to break the curse. They got a Catholic priest to exorcise Fenway Park, took a Red Sox cap to the summit of Everest while burning a Yankees cap at Base Camp, and changed a “Reverse Curve” road sign near Fenway Park to say “Reverse the Curse.”
The curse was supposedly broken in 2004 when a foul ball hit a 16-year-old fan (who lived on Babe Ruth’s old farm) and knocked two of his teeth out. The same day, the Yankees suffered their worst loss in franchise history, and that year, the Red Sox finally won the World Series.
Curse of the Colonel
The Hanshin Tigers, a Japanese baseball team, are notorious for their rowdy fans. When the Tigers won the 1985 Japan Championship, their fans grabbed a Colonel Sanders statue from a nearby KFC and threw it into the Dotonbori canal. The Tigers entered an 18-year losing streak and fans began to believe that they would never win another championship unless they got the statue back.
There were several attempts to recover the statue, which was finally found in 2009. Divers at first thought it was a human corpse, but Tigers fans recognized it as the missing Sanders. The KFC that originally lost the statue has bolted down its new one to keep the curse from being repeated.
Witch Doctor Curse
Before their 1970 World Cup qualifying match against Rhodesia, the Australian national soccer team came up with a “brilliant” way to win: they hired a witch doctor. The witch doctor cursed the opposing team by burying bones near the goalposts, and Australia won the match. But when the players didn’t pay the witch doctor the money he wanted, he turned the curse on them and they failed to qualify for another World Cup for 32 years.
The curse was supposedly lifted in 2004 when an Australian documentarian traveled to Mozambique and hired a new witch doctor to reverse the curse. The Australian team not only managed to qualify for the next World Cup, but they reached the second round before losing to eventual champions Italy.
I’m not quite ready to hire a witch doctor or take my Ovechkin t-shirt to the summit of Everest yet. Next year, though…
Do you believe in curses?
Related Post: When Sports Uniforms Go Terribly, Terribly Wrong
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