Sports Corner

When I saw the cover to Sports Illustrated a few days ago, my thought was simple:

(cover connected to this story)…

See, McNabb and Owens’ relationship has been rocky over the past months, and they’ve called each other names through the press and yadda yadda yadda… they play the lowly 49ers and win, and suddenly everything’s all good and… my thought was:

I hope to gawd that Terrell Owens and Donavann McNabb get involved in a fist-fight during this week’s game!! It didn’t happen, but maybe something will come to blows to prove the cover dumb shortly.

That desire to see Owens and McNabb come to blows of some spectacular fashion or other (and please note, I could care less about either of the players or the team of the Philadephia Eagles) goes back to the Sports Illustrated cover curse, which has it that an athlete or a team appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and they experience trouble shortly thereafter. It’s easy to explain by comparing it to a stock market bubble: the team or player often appears on the cover at an inflated moment of success. Take this cover. This cover came after the Jacksonville Jaguars shocked the Denver Broncos in the playoff, and the Carolina Panthers upset the Dallas Cowboys. The first one was particularly surprising, and at the time was referred to as “the biggest upset since Superbowl 3”. The tone of the magazine article was suggesting that this was pretty much the end of John Elway’s Superbowl aspirations. (As it happened, the Broncos put this bizarre loss behind them and won the next two superbowls..) In relation to these two teams: of course they went on to lose the conference champions! Underdogs are underdogs for a reason.

The previous issue’s cover story was of the New Orleans Saints’ victory over the Carolina Panthers… made a story due to the fact that the New Orleans Saints were then homeless and unsettled and had no stadium to play their home games at due to Hurricane Katrina. They lost the following week in the most bizarre home games ever. The game was moved to Monday night as an extra Monday Night football game, making it a “marquee game”. The game was against the New York Giants. The game was played in New York. The New York Giants were the “away” team.

The fans cheered on the New York Giants… never mind the fact that the NFL took it upon themselves to stick a few “New Orleans Saints” decals over the field, since, you see, the New Orleans Saints were the home team… kind of.

I don’t know if this fits the “Sports Illustrated cover” curse, but the New Orleans Saints lost the game, and were fairly bitter toward the NFL for (1) making a bigger deal of this particular game than it seemed fitting, and (2) the whole “home game” in the opponent’s stadium thingy kind of rubbed them the wrong way.

Hm. Amusing, ain’t it?

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