If you’re unfamiliar with the phenomenon, there’s some speculation that being on the cover of Sports Illustrated can be somewhat of a jinx. Enter the 2015 Cleveland Indians and their fanbase with a predeliction for doom. Whoah! Kiss of death, right?
Kluber’s arms aren’t going to fall off and a meteor probably won’t hit the ballpark on dollar dog night. The concept of a curse or jinx is nonsense. Let’s pull ourselves together here. I’m a fairly logical person, so I’m not a huge fan of predicting the World Series champs before a single pitch of regular season baseball has happened. EVER. There are far too many unknowns in any sport to begin that type of speculation, but I’m not mad at the concept. Why can’t we just enjoy the positive press and possibly get behind the team? Maybe it will be a great year. Why the hell not?
I don’t believe a magazine cover can ruin your individual career, force you to lose a team championship or put you in a pine box. Let’s explore, shall we? Dale Earnhardt was on the cover of SI shortly before he tragically died at the Daytona 500 in 2000. Well, clearly that was caused by a photo shoot and not his frighteningly dangerous career choice and excessive rate of speed, right? If SI was to blame, I may have missed that murder trial. Race car drivers die… A lot. I doubt that the majority of them expect to spend their final days at Sunnydale retirement community.
Here are some other examples we should chat about. Are we willing to entertain the thought that perhaps Michael Phelps was photographed smoking pot because of his cover…. Or that Tiger Woods’ wife caught him having sex with essentially ALL the women alive due to a hex? Did Marion Jones get caught up in the BALCO scandal and get stripped of her Olympic medals because of magazine voodoo? What about the Kansas City Royals? Did they lose the World Series in 2014 because of a cover story? I’m pretty sure that one was Madison Bumgarner’s fault. If you need to place blame, I’d stick with that theory. There are far too many examples to name, but I think you can see my point. Whether it’s performance related issues or something as simple as someone being a complete dumbass, there’s ample opportunity for everyone to become an asterisk in the SI jinx Wikipedia entry.