Friday the 13th: Sports Curses & Superstitions

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 4:39 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2018 4:39 PM UTC

Professional sports have a storied legacy of superstitions and curses that have reverberated throughout the ages. Let’s see if any are worth considering in our sports betting picks.

Sports Superstitions & Curses

Two of the most famous curses in sports -- the Red Sox's Curse of the Bambino and the Cubs' Curse of the Billy Goat -- plagued those baseball franchises for decades until both came to a merciful end in the new millennium. Other curses have not been broken.

Layne Tames Lions

Bobby Layne was the man under center during the Detroit Lions’ halcyon days of the 1950s. The six-time Pro Bowler led the Lions to NFL championships in 1952, 1953, and 1957 but was sidelined in the playoffs for the last of the three due to injury. Two games into the 1958 season, Lions coach George Wilson shipped the 31-year-old Layne to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for 24-year-old quarterback Earl Morrall and a pair of high draft picks.

Layne was unaware of the trade until he was paged at a Detroit airport, where he was picking up his wife. Wilson apprised him of the trade over the phone and it didn’t set well with Layne. Legend has it that Layne said the Lions would go 50 years before winning another championship. The team has not come close to a championship since 1957. In 2008, in the 50th season marking the anniversary of "the curse," the Lions went 0-16. On NFL odds board at Betmania, there is little confidence the curse will be broken this year: The Lions are pegged at +5000 to win Super Bowl LIII. Somewhere, Bobby Layne is having quite a laugh.

Madden Maddening for Cover Boys

As my editor Matt said, the Madden Curse is legit. For those of you who celebrated the end of Prohibition, you might not be aware of the popular video game Madden NFL. As for the rest of us, we not only know of the game but are aware of the curse that seems to go along with it. Those who have been selected to adorn the cover have had a series of unfortunate events befall them the following season.

The curse has had varying degrees of success -- or infamy, as the case might be. Barry Sanders was in the background in Madden 2000 and he unexpectedly retired before the season began. Michael Vick in Madden 2004 broke his fibula the day after the video game hit the shelves. Madden 2007 featured running back Shaun Alexander, who suffered a series of injuries that season after signing a $62 million contract; he was released by the Seahawks after the following season.

Reports of which player will adorn the next Madden have not leaked, but stay tuned and see if we can take advantage of someone else’s misfortune by getting down on a few NFL props at sportsbooks such as Skybook.

Curse of St. Patrick

Since the Montreal Canadiens traded legendary goalie Patrick Roy during the 1995-96 season, the 24-time Stanley Cup champions have not added to their trophy case. "Le Trade" occurred shortly after Roy was left in a game while struggling, finally being pulled by coach Mario Tremblay after allowing nine goals. As Roy skated off, he told team president Ronald Corey, "It's my last game in Montreal."

Four days later Roy was traded to Colorado, and the Avalanche ended the season by hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. The Curse of St. Patrick lingers today, as the Canadiens are once again sitting on the sidelines during this year's playoffs.

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