Last week, Little League World Series sensation Mo’ne Davis became the latest athlete to fall victim to the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx. Or, did she? In a piece at MIC, I shared my thoughts about the long running conversation about the jinx, and spoke with sports psychologist Michael Lardon to get his thoughts.
You can read the entire piece here. An excerpt is below.
One great example of the selective memory and application of the curse is Tiger Woods, who was on his way to becoming the best golfer ever (and still might be) when in 2009, he appeared on the SI cover. Shortly after, details of personal issues appeared, and he hasn’t won a major since. Some have pointed to this as the jinx at work, while ignoring all the covers he’s been on prior to this incident.
Other times, it’s just simply very easy to call jinx. Because Sports Illustrated is a weekly publication, they’re constantly pegging covers to what’s hot at the moment. During the NFL playoffs, teams that won the previous week will usually get a cover the week after. Now, consider when this happens after the conference championships. Depending on which team makes the cover, one of those teams will ultimately lose in the Super Bowl. If they win, this conversation doesn’t happen. If they lose, it’s a jinx!
For example, Mushin Muhammad of the Carolina Panthers appeared on the cover after the Panthers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004 to make the Super Bowl. This has been cited as an instance of the jinx at work because Muhammad and the Panthers lost to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.