Learn about the best known curses in the world of sports.
During Game 4 of the World Series [1945betweentheChicago Cubs and the Detroit Tigers, the local businessman William Sianis he was kicked out of Wrigley Field after other spectators began complaining about the stench of the goat he had brought into the stadium. When an angry Sianis left, he cast a curse on the Cubs, dooming their chances of winning the title.
The rest, as they say, is history.
But is it? Was it the actual curse or just a publicity stunt that became popular, thanks to the team’s decades of disgrace? The answer is probably a bit of both.
Sianis he owned the nearby Billy Goat Tavern and had brought his goat Murphy to the game with a poster promoting the bar. When asked to leave his seats, he knew it was an opportunity to draw more attention from his establishment. For years, Sianis shared her story with anyone who wanted to hear it and did her best to make it timeless.
“He was known for being an incredible promoter of himself and a great showman,” said Mickey Bradley, co-author of the book “Haunted Baseball.” “He did everything he could to promote his business. In 1969, Cubs they were having a really good year and he said he would remove the curse. Then it all fell apart and his nephew kept it going for a long time too. They did everything they could to fan the flames of this curse and it was marketed madly. “
Of course, for the curse to continue, the team had to maintain a losing streak, and it did. The Cubs they had not won the World Series Since 1908, 37 years before the self-declared curse of Sianis, but with each passing year, the legend continued to grow. And since the Cubs failed to win in the postseason, the curse only seemed to further legitimize itself and attract more believers.
There were numerous attempts to reverse the curse over the years, including Sianis himself prior to his death in 1970. Meanwhile, the “Curse of the Goat” became a reference everywhere, from newspaper headlines to sports broadcasts.
For Phillips Stevens Jr., a retired professor of anthropology at the University at Buffalo and an expert on superstitions and magical thinking, the belief in such a curse and its popularity stems from something that is at the center of all human thought.
“What people call superstitions are really examples of magical thinking, and they are a fundamentally human belief,” Stevens said. And even if you, or one person on a team, personally believe that it is silly and the world doesn’t work this way, you probably accept it and do your best to support the idea because you know that others believe it deeply and not. you want to be the one who doesn’t. “
The Cubs they finally turned their luck in 2016 with the first title of World Series of the team in 108 years. While the “spell” was removed, it remains one of the best-known examples of a curse in the sporting world, but it is far from the only one.
If you’re a sports fanatic, chances are you’re at least familiar with some of the alleged curses. In honor of the spookiest weekend of the year, let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating curses in sports.
The Masters Par-3 contest
The Masters it is one of the most revered tournaments in all of golf. It has a handful of unique customs, including a cell phone ban, a white uniform for caddies, and a dinner where the winner from the previous year decides the menu.
But the contest Par 3, which is usually played the day before the tournament officially begins, is not as beloved as some of the other traditions. In fact, few want to win it.
And for good reason: since the event’s debut in 1960, no one has won the Masters after winning the Par 3 contest. In fact, there have only been two golfers in history who won the tournament after claiming the Par 3 award.
The curse has become so legendary among gamers that some even get lost or intentionally disqualified in an attempt not to be victimized. Tiger Woods he was tied for first at the end of the 2004 contest, but opted out of the tournament.
US Open champion Andy North, who is now an analyst at ESPN, he told the official tournament site that the curse is real.
“Absolutely, I believe in the hex,” North said. “I know one year there, I made four birdies in the first five or six holes, or whatever, and I was leading, and I purposely put two in the water on the sixth hole just to make sure nothing silly happened.”
Raymond Floyd nearly broke the curse in 1990 after winning Wednesday’s event and then holding a four-shot lead with six holes to play in the final round of the Masters, but eventually lost in a playoff.
Matt wallace, the 2019 Par 3 champion, became the 19th winner in his history to lose the cut at the Masters later that week.
The event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, and we assume that most gamers weren’t too disappointed by the news.
The curse of the Bambino
The Boston Red Sox were one of the most successful teams in baseball’s early years, winning five of the first 15 titles in the World Series of this sport. But that winning streak came to an abrupt halt after the 1918 season, following the sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. The Yankees would win their first championship in 1923 and would become one of the most dominant franchises in sports.
The Red Sox wouldn’t win another World Series in 86 years.
While Ruth’s departure from Boston had long been seen as the beginning of the team’s decline but the “Curse of the Bambino” gained steam until the Boston sportswriter, Dan shaughnessy, wrote a book with that as its title in 1990. For some, the idea of Ruth feeling slighted by the move explained the team’s decades of bad luck.
“That obviously started with Dan Shaughnessy, but it only worked because the fans were looking for some kind of explanation,” Bradley said. “And beyond that, it gives the fan base another identity and an aspect by which they were united.”
Like fans of the Cubs, many in Boston would try to do their part to break the curse. There were fans who tried to find and rescue an old Ruth piano submerged in a pond on her former property. There were several ceremonies with witches. But all efforts were deemed unsuccessful.
Some believe that the curse was finally broken when a teenage fanatic, who lived in the old house of Babe Ruth, lost two teeth from a ball that came out foul of Manny Ramirez in August 2004. The Yankees suffered their worst loss in team history that day, and the Red Sox overcame a 3-0 series deficit against New York in the American League Championship Series and ultimately won the World Series.
“The fans did all of these things in hopes of ending the curse,” said Dan Gordon, a co-author of the book with Bradley. “And a curse like that allows fans to play an active role in the luck of the team. It is a way of participating and interacting with the team and feeling part of the squad ”.
No matter the reason for the success of Red Sox in 2004, since since then the team has won three more titles than World Series.
While in Mozambique to qualify for the world Cup In 1969, the Australian men’s national soccer team, nicknamed the “Socceroos”, was the favorite to beat Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
The Socceroos were determined to do whatever it took to ensure victory, and reportedly turned to a local shaman for help and asked him to curse their rivals. The team won the game 3-1, but the shaman was not paid for his services.
As the story goes, the curse was reversed and fell on the Australians. “From that moment he put the curse, everything went wrong for the team,” he said. Johnny warren, the then team captain.
The Socceroos qualified for only one world Cup over the next 32 years and suffered a series of devastating defeats.
In 2004, the Australian television personality John safran decided to do his part to reverse the curse as part of his television series. Together with two shamans, the group returned to the field where the curse was first placed and performed various rituals in hopes of breaking the curse.
The Australian team qualified for the world Cup 2006 and former player-turned-broadcaster Craig Foster thanked Safran after the win. The Socceroos reached the round of 16, which is still their best result of the tournament.
While the history of the origin of this curse has been disputed, and some believe that such a curse was never placed on the team, it is clear that Warren and many other players actually believed it.
“If all the players on the team believe it, or at least they are worried about it and have a little anxiety about it, they are not going to play their best,” said Stevens Jr. “It was a problem for everyone, believe it or not. . Like certain superstitions on game day, these beliefs or attempts to reverse a curse are part of that effort that you make, to get an idea of whether you are really controlling anything or not, to give yourself a sense of control in a world. potentially chaotic, which is large and impersonal ”.
The Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints, was built in a 19th-century graveyard, and after the team failed to win a single playoff game in its first 33 years of existence, some began to speculate whether the stadium was cursed.
So before the wild card game of the Saints In 2000 against the St. Louis Rams, the team performed a voodoo ritual led by the area’s priestess, Ava Kay Jones. She was joined by a snake, as well as dancers and drums, and performed the ceremony in the field.
Brandi Kelley, who worked with Jones at the ceremony, told ESPN that the idea was “to honor the spirits that were in the Dome, appease them and give them the recognition they deserved.”
It could have worked. The Saints beat the Rams, 31-28, and have since won 10 playoff games and the Super bowl 2010.
The Superdome it is far from the only stadium that has been built on top of a graveyard. Home of Southampton FCof the Premier League (also nicknamed the Saints) was built on an Anglo-Saxon settlement known as Hamwic, and tombs and human remains dating from the 7th century were discovered at the site. Like the NFL Saints, these Saints also struggled at their new stadium after its completion in 2001. The team failed to win at the new field and many began to believe that something supernatural was at stake.
The team brought in a witch named Cerridwen “DragonOak” Connelly in hopes of appeasing the spirits. Hours later, the Southampton FC recorded his first victory in the new stadium.
“I guess the players must have really believed (in the curse) enough to justify someone coming in and performing the ritual, and I don’t know if it was a coincidence or if it really helped, as they won right after,” he told ESPN in 2020 Andrew Frewing-House, a Southampton-based paranormal investigator, “But I think they convinced themselves it was gone, even if it wasn’t true.”