If you have been by a newsstand this week, or you are a subscriber, by now you know the St. Louis Cardinals are on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.
Finding yourself on the front cover of a magazine or newspaper can be good or bad, depending on the circumstances.
Where does this rank?
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For starters, when you saw the words Sports Illustrated you probably cringed. If so, you may know about the infamous Sports Illustrated cover jinx.
The jinx refers to having something bad happen to the subject of the cover, either immediately or during the season.
Don’t believe it? With thanks to the long entry in Wikipedia, here are five times the SI cover jinx really hit the subject hard:
*The Nebraska football team was touted as the team to beat to open the 1972 college season. What happened to the Cornhuskers? They finished 9-2-1 overall, but Nebraska was beaten in the first week of the season and never really recovered.
*In August 1978, Pete Rose was on the cover of SI to celebrate his 44-game hitting streak… the same week the streak came to an end.
*High school pitcher Jon Peters had a 51-0 record for Brenham, Texas, when featured on an SI cover in May 1989. He lost his next game.
*New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady graced the NFL preview cover in 2008, but he tore an ACL in the first week of the season and ended up on the sidelines.
*None other than the Cardinals suffered the cover jinx in 2013. That year pitchers Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook were featured prominently with their pitching staff. Both pitchers were injured that season, with Westbrook’s elbow problem so severe it forced him into retirement.
See why people are so scared?
Now, there’s no reason to believe the Cardinals will finish 77-85. To do that, they would have to lose the final 42 games of the year and there’s no way that will happen.
Seasoned readers, however, know the jinx when they see it. They will immediately turn and shout curse words at SI if a five-game losing streak hits.
So when you pass by a newsstand this week and see the cover, thank SI on behalf of Cardinal Nation.
Then don’t walk under a ladder… throw salt over your shoulder if you spill it…