Sports Illustrated cover jinx

Superstition Sunday, Superbowl Edition


Yeah, it’s Superbowl Sunday! Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers. I’m going to make a big, bold prediction about the game, one you can bank on: Beyonce will rock that stadium at the halftime show.

That’s it. My one and only prediction. Why? Well, because the Patriots are out. This year, I won’t be donning my New England Patriots jacket in hopes of my amazing fan vibes going forth to aid Brady and the gang. This year, I won’t even be watching. Confession (a boring one; don’t get your hopes up): I’m not really much of a sports fan. But I am a fan of all things supernatural, and all things superstitious. 

In honor of Superbowl Sunday – this biggest day in sports – here are three famous and awesome sports superstitions.


Playoff Beards

So …. whatcha think of the playoff beard? You know, NHL hockey players stop shaving when their team makes the playoffs, and won’t shave again until they are either eliminated or have won the Stanley Cup. Yeah, I kind of think It is cool too. No, it’s not the actual beards that are cool. It’s the individual’s acknowledgement of powers and forces that we don’t understand, but equally will not deny. It is the collective nod to the fates, to the unexplainable, working around us.

It’s the fear of the almighty jinx!


The Curse of the Bambino

Nope, not a baseball fan either (um, this is definitely the Doherty half of the team coming at you now). But even I have heard of Babe Ruth. The story is this: Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees in the 1919-20 off season (and I’m guessing this was a move significantly unpopular with Boston fans.) Before this, the Sox had been incredibly successful. Five world series titles. After selling the Bambino? Not so much. It was 84 years before the Boston Red Sox won another World Series, whereas the Yankees went on to great success in the decades that followed.

A curse? Yes. A real honest-to-goodness curse. And it did what any good curse would/should (will!) do the mindset of the individual and collective until the ‘fate’ set out could only come true. 


Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx



I love this 2002 cover. But wonder how much the dudes at Sports Illustrated do?

Superstition has it that individual players or teams who appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated will then be jinxed. (Ah, there’s the awesome word again.) Okay, Michael Jordon graced the SI cover many times, and well, he did all right for himself. But then again, he IS Michael Jordon.

This superstition I can really see happening, then catching on like fire. An athlete sliding down hill after a cover. See that happen time and time again … it would be very hard for a player to then go forward with a cover. To risk that slide – that bad luck. How slippery the slope!

Would I do it? Would I take a cover spot? Well, chances are Sports Illustrated won’t be seeking me out for their cover – my 20 minutes on the elliptical at the gym probably is not what they’re looking for. But honestly, were I a pro athlete, doing great, about to go forward into a championship match, and was offered the SI cover … would I do it?

Pffft … not a hope in hell would I. Why? Because when it comes to our passions, we don’t want to change our luck. We do NOT want to jinx ourselves. In a nutshell: we don’t tempt fate. We give these nods to the unexplainable. 

So though I won’t be in my Ravens or 49ers gear, I’m guessing lucky sweaters will be worn by more than a few around North America. And wow, they’re so right to put those on. Got the beard thing going for you team? For the love of all things football – don’t touch it till after the game!