Ex-Duck QB 'terrified' of Sports Illustrated jinx

Credit: Sports Illustrated

Ex-Duck QB 'terrified' of Sports Illustrated jinx

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 5:51 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 20 at 5:41 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Oregon Ducks, ranked number three in the country, have made the cover of Sports Illustrated, which will undoubtedly please opponents and raise talk of the curse associated with the magazine.

The cover features running back DeAnthony Thomas, describing him simply as "The Fastest Man in Football."

Is the jinx real? Most Ducks fans KGW talked with said no.

"It probably won’t affect the team at all," said Philip Harry. "I don’t think anything bad will happen anyway; I'm not too worried about it"

Walt Yohn agreed, saying "The curse is kind of well established when it comes to teams, but as far as individuals, no. I don’t believe so."

Fan Elain Jones disagreed, sort of. "I think it  is a bit of an issue. It does make you nervous when they get on the cover, although De’Anthony Thomas deserves to be on the cover."

Check out the history of cover athletes on Wikipedia page of Sports Illustrated jinxes. Of course there are times the cover had no effect on an athlete's performance. But then again...

In August, 1954, Braves third baseman Eddie Mathews makes the first cover. The team blows a nine-game win streak, Mathews later breaks a hand and misses eight games.

In 1964, race car driver Pat O'Connor dies on the first lap of the Indy 500, four days after he's on the cover.

In 1969, Lee Trevino makes the cover and promptly misses the cut in the U.S. Open.

In 1984, Jack Lambert's "Man of Steel" cover precedes a turf toe injury and his retirement.

April 1989, must-draft college player Tony Mandarich turns into the NFL's "Incredible Bust."

March 2001, Nomar Garciaparra is on the cover and breaks his wrist a week later. His career is never the same.

August 2001, Oregon State's Ken Simonton (what happened to those orange pants?) makes the cover, which declares the Beavers number one in the country, and the team goes 5-6.

September 2003, the Ducks make the cover after beating Michigan on a four-game win streak and then lose the next four.

Quarterback Jason Fife was part of that 2003 team and he says he still worries about the curse.

"I really do, that’s why I’m terrified for this week," he told sportscaster John Canzano in an interview with 750 The Game Wednesday. "There was absolutely no reason for us to lose as badly as we did the week after I was on Sports Illustrated. But we did, and so then I became a believer."

Saturday the Ducks play up-and-coming and top 25-ranked Arizona at Autzen, after three easy wins.

Fife wants to see them do well. "I want the curse to be broken for Oregon," he said.

___

KGW Reporter Jacqueline Sit contributed to this report

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