Wednesday, February 10, 2010


As you might have guessed by now, I enjoy a good superstition. The Curse of the Bambino, which has since fallen, and The Curse of the Billy Goat are two of my favorites. I don't particularly believe in these curses; however, I like looking at the lengths people will go to avoid falling victim to a "curse." I'm sure many of you have heard of the Madden cover curse that plagues any athlete who graces the cover of this amazingly popular game (if you are not familiar, check out the Wikipedia entry for the Madden curse). However, I discovered a new curse today that was brought to my attention through the recent injury to potential Olympian Lindsay Vonn. For details on how this curse has come through history, check out this article on the Sports Illustrated website. It's amazing how consistent this has been throughout the history of the magazine. Even from the original cover boy Eddie Mathews who suffered a hand injury one week after he appeared on the cover of SI that caused him to miss seven games, the curse has progressed to nip even the most talented athletes. In 1993, Barry Bonds was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as he was having an amazing year. Within two weeks of this accomplishment, Bonds' batting average dropped 40 points! 40 points on a batting average can be the difference between an All-Star and a second rate starter. For example, think about the difference between Yadier Molina who was the All-Star starter last year and ended the year with a batting average of .293 and fellow National League backstop Jason Kendall who batted .241. Granted, Kendall is a fine player who makes other contributions to his team through his above-average speed for a catcher. However, this difference was a significant decrease in production from Bonds which "coincidentally" followed the magazine cover. Coincidence? Yeah, I pretty much think so. However, I think that without this aura of superstition surrounding various athletic traditions, the "magic" and "mystique" surrounding professional athletics would be lost. If people can't dream through sports, where else can they imagine what could have been if only fate had not been against them.

No comments:

Post a Comment