Superstitions and sports are as inseparable as Halloween and candy, but a few sports franchises and athletes have endured such bad luck that they can apparently only be explained by the supernatural. Hexes such as the Bambino’s Curse and the Billy Goat’s Curse that plagued the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs are familiar to most sports fans. Here are seven lesser-known sports spells:
1. The curse of Rocky Colavito
Once the Red Sox and Cubs broke their historic curses, Major League Baseball’s longest title drought passed to the Cleveland Baseball Club, which changed its name from Indians to Guardians after the 2021 season. As some Red Sox fans pointed out Babe Ruth’s trade for their woes, Cleveland fans blamed the 1960 trade on the team’s most popular player, Rocky Colavito.
Reigning AHL home run point guard Colavito learned of his trade with Detroit while standing on first base in an exhibition game at Russwood Park in Memphis. Perhaps the first sign the deal angered the sports gods was when the stadium was destroyed in a fire within hours of the trade. Although Colavito returned to Cleveland five years later, the team’s 1948 World Series title remains their last.
Hardened Cleveland fans saw their side fail to maintain a ninth inning lead in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series before a mistake by Tony Fernandez contributed to a devastating loss. In 2016, the Cubs broke their curse in Cleveland by winning Game 7 of the World Series in extra innings and adding even more heartache to home team fans.
READ MORE: What Was The Bambino’s Curse And How Baseball’s Biggest Hex Was Shattered?
2. The curse of the seven cats
After one of Argentina’s most popular football clubs, Racing Club de Avellaneda, followed their national title in 1966 with Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup victories in 1967, fans of their bitter rival, the Club Atlético Independiente, burst onto Racing’s ground and buried seven dead. black cats under a stadium entrance.
Racing, who had won 15 league titles before the burial, then passed out while Independiente won a series of championships. Racing was even relegated from the next level in 1983 and temporarily suspended from the league after going bankrupt in 1999.
At this point, six of the cats had been exhumed. However, with the seventh corpse still missing, a priest performed an exorcism in front of tens of thousands of fans. A few months after a stadium redevelopment in 2001 unearthed the seventh skeleton, Racing won its first national title in 35 years.
3. The Mad Curse
In 1998, San Francisco 49ers running back Garrison Hearst became the first NFL player to appear on the cover of the ever popular Madden football video game produced by EA Sports. Despite having had a Pro Bowl season, Hearst suffered a horrific ankle injury in a playoff game. It was the first in a series of injuries and bad seasons that seemed to hit players appearing on the cover of the video game.
According to Digital trends, 16 of the 22 players selected to appear on the cover through 2021 have subsequently suffered troubling or cut short seasons. The list includes Rob Gronkowski, Drew Brees, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Daunte Culpepper and Adrian Peterson.
Although he blamed the contract negotiations rather than the supposed curse, running back LaDainian Tomlinson turned down a cover appearance. His replacement on the Madden On the cover of 2008, Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young suffered a quadriceps injury and threw nearly twice as many interceptions as touchdowns. Without a doubt, the injuries had more to do with the murderous nature of football than a video game.
“Do you want to be hurt and on the blanket, or just hurt?” Asked Seattle running back Shaun Alexander, who broke his foot weeks after facing Madden NFL 07.
4. The Andretti Curse
After capturing the checkered flag in the 1969 Indianapolis 500, a succession of misfortunes befell Mario Andretti at the Brickyard. In 24 races after his lone victory, the legendary racing driver has finished just five times. An accident even before the start of the race knocked him out of the 1982 Indianapolis 500, and five years later he held a considerable lead and had even passed the second-place driver before a broken valve spring. does not slow down his car and relegate him to ninth place. place the finish.
After the 1969 victory, Andretti’s team was sold and chief engineer Clint Brawner was fired. According to Runner Robin Miller of the magazine, Brawner’s wife would have visited a diviner to cast a curse in which no Andretti would ever win the Indianapolis 500 again. Mario’s sons Michael and Jeff, nephew John and grandson Marco also drove the Indianapolis 500, and none were luckier than the family patriarch. The 431 laps led by Michael Andretti are more than any driver who didn’t win the race.
“I got a lot from my dad,” said Michael after blowing up an engine while leading the 1989 race on lap 162. “More than his conduct, I think I inherited the luck from my father.”
5. The Pottsville Curse
Hailing from a small town in the heart of Pennsylvania coal country, the Pottsville Maroons joined the Chicago Cardinals atop the NFL rankings in 1925. Although there was no official championship game, Pottsville proved to be the best team in the league, beating the Cardinals, 21-7, on the road in a showdown in December.
With its season over, the Maroons scheduled a game against a Notre Dame all-star team at Shibe Park in Philadelphia because its field was too small to contain the expected crowd. Philadelphia, however, was home to the Frankford Yellow Jackets, who feared the confrontational game would diminish their door. When the Maroons played the game in defiance of his orders, NFL commissioner Joseph Carr stripped Pottsville of his title. Chicago has scheduled two rushed games, including one against a team made up of high school students recruited by the Cardinals, to end the season with a slightly higher winning percentage.
The Bidwell family, who still own the Cardinals, claimed the 1925 title after buying the team in 1933. The NFL has repeatedly voted against the 1925 championship reconsideration, including in 2003. Since joining won the title in 1947 and moved to St. Louis then Arizona, the Cardinals have had the longest championship drought among major U.S. professional sports teams, and some believe it will last until the NFL restores the title from Pottsville .
6. The Curse of Colonel Sanders
When the Hanshin Tigers won the Central League pennant in 1985 for the first time in 21 years, fans of the Japanese baseball team who looked like Tigers players jumped into Osaka’s Dotonbori River to celebrate. Struggling to find a lookalike for bearded American slugger Randy Bass from Hanshin in the crowd, fans slipped a statue of Col. Harland Sanders into a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, dressed her in a Tigers uniform, and dived him in the river.
As the Tigers won the Japan Series, the following years saw Hanshin languish at the bottom of the rankings, as did the fast food icon at the bottom of the river. As abnormal injuries and bad drafts plagued the Tigers, legend grew that Colonel Sanders had cast a spell on the team. To reverse the colonel’s curse, the statue was retrieved from the muddy river bed in 2009 and ceremoniously cleaned up at a nearby shrine. Despite the rescue, the Tigers have yet to win another 12-team Nippon Professional Baseball League title since the colonel’s spray.
7. The curse of Bobby Layne
Now synonymous with football futility, the Detroit Lions were an NFL powerhouse in the 1950s. However, their fortunes shifted after they traded future Hall of Fame quarterback Bobby Layne to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1958 afterwards. have won three titles in six years. “When he found out he had been traded maybe he was a little angry and he said the Lions wouldn’t win a championship for 50 years,” Layne’s son Alan told the Detroit Free Press.
The exchange for Detroit’s star quarterback coincided with the start of an epic championship drought. Since Layne left, the Lions haven’t even appeared in an NFL or Super Bowl championship game, not to mention winning one. In fact, they only won one playoff game.
If Layne had indeed cursed the Lions for half a century, the hex had even greater resistance. Rather than revert to greatness in 2008, Detroit became the first NFL team to post a 0-16 record as the Steelers won the Super Bowl. Even the later draft of quarterback Matthew Stafford, who attended the same high school in Texas as Layne and grew up on the same street, failed to turn the Lions’ fortunes around.