By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — You don’t want to mention it. You sort of want to act like you’ve never heard of it. That’s tough to do for any sports fan who is well aware of the dreaded Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx. Did you think about it when you heard that Taney Dragon pitcher Mo’ne Davis became the first ever Little Leaguer to grace the cover?
It was hard not to.
For those of you that never heard of the SI Cover jinx, it basically implies that whenever a team or a player is featured on the cover of the magazine, they will face some type of bad luck in the very near future.
That obviously is not what Philadelphians want to hear when Mo’ne Davis is expected to take the mound for the Taney Dragons on Wednesday night. She will have a chance to lead them to the United States final at the Little League World Series.
Whether or not you want to buy in to the superstitious side of things, you cannot deny that there are some tangible incidents that one can point to in support of the jinx.
Just this past week, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller graced a regional cover of the magazine and today the school announced that the Heisman hopeful would miss the entire season due to a shoulder injury.
The bug has taken a bite out of some athletes with Philadelphia connections as well. Last season, Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles was featured on the cover following the team’s snowy victory against the Lions. The team’s five game winning streak at that time came to an end when the team was defeated 48-30 by the Minnesota Vikings the next week.
Remember back in 2010 when Michael Vick graced the cover of SI? That came after the Eagles had come back to beat the Giants at home 27-17. Vick went out and threw an interception in the team’s next game and the Eagles lost to the Bears to end their winning streak.
Current Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez experienced some bad luck himself back in 2010 with the Jets. He was featured on a regional cover prior to his team’s AFC Championship game matchup with the Colts. They lost that game.
The list goes on and on. There are some drastic examples that involve injuries and many that just point to lost games, but for those out there that think it comes down to more than X’s and O’s, the curse is a real thing.
It seems like at the end of the day, it comes down to defying the odds. Sure there are plenty of examples of curses that we can bring up, but what about the Taney Dragons makes them seem like they follow patterns?
We’re talking about a team based in the middle of an urban city which is not necessarily a hotbed for baseball. You have a young girl who has pitched lights out on the mound and has handled the waves of national attention with class, calmness and poise. This is a team that is the first to represent its city and they do not seem impacted by the weight of that even a little bit.
I do not know whether or not curses exist. All I know is I will not bet against this special team and their chances to do something incredible.
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