Halloween 2015: Notable Sports Curses
VAVEL USA/Zach Drapkin

If you are reading this, it’s most likely Halloween, so let yours truly wish you a Happy Halloween! This article will be a few notable curses in sports, it’s not a ranking just a list.

New York Rangers MSG mortgage:

In 1940, the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup. After the clinching game, Rangers management, who had just finished paying off the MSG mortgage, burned the mortgage in the bowl of the Cup. Many fans said that that upset the hockey gods and they put a curse on the Rangers. The Rangers came very close over the years but finally broke the curse in 1994.

Curse of the Bambino:

This one is easily one of the most well known curses ever. In 1918, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. In the 1919 offseason, the Red Sox traded their star pitcher George Herman “Babe” Ruth to the New York Yankees in order to finance as the common lore goes, former owner Harry Frazee's play No, No, Nannette. The Red Sox, like the Rangers, in the previous curse got close over the years only to fall short, but like the Rangers, the curse no longer exists. In 2004, the Red Sox were down 3-0 in the ALCS attempting to do something no team in baseball history had ever done before, comeback. They did exactly that, winning Game 7 at Yankee Stadium. They then went onto win the World Series in a sweep, officially ending the curse.

Curse of the Billy Goat:

The Chicago Cubs were a great franchise for the major part of the early to mid-1900s. However in 1940, local tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave because the smell of his goat was disturbing other fans. Another version of the curse is that Sianis wasn’t allowed into Wrigley Field at all because of the goat. Sianis proclaimed that the Cubs would never win another World Series.

Since then, the Cubs have never won a World Series. They have had plenty of great players including Ernie Banks and Ron Santo but still never won it all. Cubs fans have blamed Steve Bartman in 2003 for continuing the curse when he reached for a foul ball that was in foul territory and in doing so prevented Moises Alou from catching the ball. The Cubs would go onto to lose the NLCS after that play in Game 6. This season, the Cubs had a great season, and it was destined for the Cubs to win it all according to Back to the Future II. However, on Back to the Future Day, October 21st, 2015, the day Marty Mcfly and Doc went to in BTTFII, and there was a sign that said Chicago Cubs win the 2015 World Series in a sweep. That did not happen though so the curse will continue for another year.

Madden Curse:

This is far and away the most ridiculous curse in this article, but it was funny and people, including yours truly believed it, although jokingly. The Madden NFL video game has existed since the year 1988 and up until 1997, John Madden, the legendary broadcaster, was the cover boy. In the 1998 version, San Francisco 49ers running back Garrison Hearst was on the cover, the next season he broke his ankle and was out for two seasons. Alas the “Madden Curse” was born.

People do forget however that he won NFL Comeback Player of the Year three years later though. The 2000 cover boy, Barry Sanders, retired shortly after being on the cover. The 2001 cover boy, Eddie George, never averaged more than 4.3 yards per carry for the rest of his career after the cover appearance. In 2002, the cover boy was Daunte Culpepper. He threw 23 interceptions, tied the single season record for most fumbles and blew out both knees in the next few years after his appearance on the cover.

Over the next few years the cover boys suffered significant injuries that derailed their seasons after being on the cover. The first person to really break the curse was Larry Fitzgerald who was on the cover with Troy Polamalu in 2009. The next season, Fitzgerald caught 13 TDs which was a career high, 1,097 yards on 97 receptions, and was named to the Pro Bowl. Far and away the worst Madden cover boy ever came in the first edition of the vote, as Peyton Hillis won the vote. The next season he suffered through many injuries and was never the same player as he was in his one good season, 2010. Madden 2012 cover boy Calvin Johnson blew the curse out of the water as he broke Jerry Rice’s single season receptions record after appearing on the cover.