Top 10 Sports CursesTo celebrate the Cubs breaking their 108 year title drought, I'm going to count down the most frustrating, painful, and most downright brutal curses in sports history. These curses could affect individual players, teams, cities, and even entire countries. So relax and get out all that bad juju with the Top 10 Curses in the Wide World of Sports.
On November 2, 2016, the fan bases of 29 different MLB teams rejoiced, for the Chicago Cubs had finally won a championship. For over a century, Chicagoans have had to deal with their group of "lovable losers" not coming through with a title. And this was all due to a disgruntled Cubs fan who couldn't bring his pet goat into Wrigley Field. There have been disappointments, steroid scandals, and one unfortunate fan named Steve Bartman that have prevented the Cubbies from winning it all. Not anymore. This is the feel good story of the year in the sports world (except for Indians fans) and I just feel so happy for those Cubs fans who have had to deal with this experience for decades. I'm disappointed in you, Back to the Future. You were a year off. I expected better.
I remember watching all 7 2016 WS GAMES. At the fifth game I was done with this team I thought the series was over. But game 5 & 6 was taken by these CUBBIES the seventh was the longest baseball game I've ever watched at the eighth inning I thought Cleveland was going to end their curse and take home the trophy from a 68 year WS win drought. But in the tenth the cubs went back on their feet to win it. I'm not a cubs fan, but I got to see them win a World Series the first time since 1908. I'll say this. WAY TO GO CUBBIES.
In 1919, the Boston Red Sox traded their superstar Babe Ruth to the archrival New York Yankees for $100,000. The Yankees went on to win 27 MLB championships while Red Sox fans had to deal with tons of disappointment for 86 years. What makes this worse, is that the Red Sox were actually good and competitive for many of those years, but were never good enough to win the title, adding a major element of frustration to the curse. The curse was finally broken in 2004 after the Sox swept the Cardinals in the World Series. Since then, the team has won two more championships in 2007 and 2013 respectively, so I'm sure that the wait was well worth it.
The Red Sox won their division and the World Series in 2013, but they finished dead last in their division in 2012 AND 2014 AND 2015, which means The Curse Of The Bambino has a weirder sense of humor than you might think.
While many of the curses on this list were unintentional or just plain superstition, this curse was absolutely 100% intended. After being traded from the Detroit Lions in 1958, superstar quarterback Bobby Layne publicly stated that Detroit would not win a championship for 50 years. And they didn't. Ever since Layne's departure, the Lions haven't even made it to the Super Bowl and finished with the only 0-16 record in the history of the league. The Lions have also struggled with quarterback inconsistencies and have had two of the best players of all time in their respected positions in Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson retire prematurely at the old age of 30. This is definitely the most painful active curse in the sports world.
While the Billy Goat and Bambino curses only affected a single team in the city, Chicagoans often found refuge in the success of the 1990s Bulls and the 1985 Bears while Bostonians have had the Celtics' 17 championships and Tom Brady to look forward to. However, Clevelanders had to deal with this pain and suffering for all three of their teams. Unfortunate events in this curse included the Departure of Jim Brown, The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, The Browns Relocation to Baltimore, the 1997 World Series, LeBron James' Decision, and the Johnny Manziel debacle. It's only fitting that this curse ended with "The Block" in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Any sports fan is familiar with the Madden NFL video game series. Before 1999, announcer John Madden appeared on every cover of the video game. Afterwards, the game developers decided to place a current NFL player on the cover of the game. In many cases, the player who was selected to be on the cover suffered from injury, controversy, or just a poor performance the following season. The results speak for themselves. Casual football fans barely remember former players such as Garrison Hearst, Shaun Alexander, Vince Young, or Peyton Hillis these days.
In Philadelphia, City Hall that has an enormous statue of our founder William Penn on top of it. For years, no building in the city was permitted to be taller than Penn's hat. That changed in 1987 when the skyscraper One Liberty Place was built. For over twenty years, no team in Philadelphia won a championship but would often come FRUSTRATINGLY close to a title pretty much every year. That was changed when the current tallest building in the city (The Comcast Center) was constructed and a mini figurine of Penn was placed on the top of it. Sure enough, the Phillies won the World Series a few months later in 2008. However, due to the lack of playoff success and the fact that in 2015, our teams' winning percentage only equated to 37.5%, it's rumored that the curse may still be alive and well. Crap.
Much like the Madden curse, the SI curse has acted like a jinx for any of the athletes that decided to appear on the cover of the famous magazine. Many athletes have gone on record by saying that they heavily regret being on the cover when something unfortunate happened to them shortly afterwards. Examples of this have been losses in big games, a streak of sub-par performances, and even career-ending injuries.
Hell hath no fury like a city whose team is taken away from them. In 1958, the New York Baseball Giants decided to join their fellow New York baseball team in the Dodgers to become the first MLB teams on the west coast. Disgruntled former Giant fans from Manhattan decided to place a curse on the team by saying that they would never win a World Series outside of NYC. That curse stuck until 2010 when the Giants won the championship over the Texas Rangers. The team has formed a bit of a dynasty in recent years, winning three championships in seven years. Talk about going from cursed to first.
In 1958, the New York Giants moved to San Francisco. The fans in New York got upset, allegedly placing a hex on the Giants, saying that they will never win a title in San Francisco, thinking that all the good luck is in New York. Since then, they lost 3 World Series appearances. In 2010, the Giants beat the Rangers in five games to end the curse and win the World Series.
In the 1992 NLCS between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves, the Pirates lost in game 7. Atlanta was down 2-1 at the bottom of the ninth inning, but has the bases loaded. Francisco Cabrera hit a single that scored 2 runs to end the game. David Justice and Sid Bream advanced home with Bream sliding into the plate to beat Barry Bond's throw to home. This according to some in Pittsburgh led to the Pirates missing the playoffs from 1993-2013 when they finally clinched a winning record in 2013.
Buffalo Bills won AFL championships in 1964 and 1965. Since then the Bills lost in 4 straight Super Bowls between 1990-1993. The Sabres lost in the Stanley Cup finals in 1975 against the Philadelphia Flyers and in 1999 against the Dallas Stars. The 1999 loss was especially painful for Sabres fans due to Brett Hull's crease goal in 3rd overtime during game 7.
In 1925, an NFL team known as the Pottsville Maroons had their championship stripped away from them, and was instead awarded to the then Chicago Cardinals. Since then, the Cardinals have struggled majorly in their attempt to win an NFL championship and have relocated twice along the way. The closest they got was in 2009 when they were only one defensive stop away from winning Super Bowl XLIII. I'm sure Cardinal fans still see images of Santonio Holmes in their nightmares to this very day.
Since 1936, no British man had won the nation's most famous tennis tournament. That all changed when Andy Murray of London won the Wimbledon Tournament in 2013. This was a major achievement for the country and it was obvious that everyone from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland were on Murray's side when he brought the title back home to the U.K..
Perhaps not as well known in the United States, this is a well known Japanese curse. The perpetrator of this curse is thought to be none other than KFCs Colonel Sanders himself!
After winning the Japanese title in 1985, a Tiger fan celebration led to a statue of Colonel Sanders being thrown into a river from a cliff (supposedly because it resembled an American player on their team). Since this incident, the Tigers have failed to win the series.
The statue was actually discovered in 2009, and reassembled at the Tiger Stadium in a hope to erase the curse.
Unable to win a grand final until they beat the Melbourne Storm last year (2016).
Hoping to qualify for the 1970 World Cup in a critical match against Rhodesia, some of Australia's players went to a witch doctor prior to the game to help, who agreed on the condition that the players paid him 1,000 pounds. The doctor then buried bones near the goal posts and cursed the opposition. Australia won the game 3-1, but were unable to come up with the money. The doctor cursed the team and they lost to Israel failing to qualify for the World Cup. For the next 35 years, Australia failed to reach the World Cup stage. But after a man named John Sefran hired a witch doctor to help reverse the curse, Australia finally qualified in 2006 and reached the second round.
The St. Louis Cardinals traded Keith Hernandez to the Mets for two players, who wound up being busts. This has been regarded as a major mistake in their franchise. They went twenty-four seasons without a title, including World Series losses in 1985, 1987, and 2004. This also included bone-head plays from Jack Clark missing a pop-up in 1985 to Jeff Suppan's bad base-running in 2004. The Cardinals finally ended the drought with a World Series title in 2006.