I downloaded this week’s copy of Sports Illustrated to my iPad (I also found a paper version of it in my mailbox too…very strange concept, this magazine thing.) and to my intense horror, saw that Tom Brady and my Patriots were gracing their cover. How could they?

For those of you uninitiated into the ways of sports superstition and Sports Illustrated, it is well documented that sports teams and athletes appearing on the cover of SI have subsequently suffered athletic failure and injury of all shapes and sizes. For those of you naysayers, read through the list on the Wikipedia page…its too frequent an occurrence to be a fluke.

And beyond the Wikipedia page, just take a look at the image above from my SI iPad app library. Four of the past six covers (including this week’s with the Pats on it) have featured NFL teams in the Playoffs. And what do you know…every NFL team featured on the cover (before this week) have been promptly dispatched from the playoffs – Tebow and the Broncos, Rodgers and the Packers, and Alex Smith and the 49ers.

My only hope that the Patriots don’t end up suffering this same indignity is that SI does the noble and right thing and put the Giants on next week’s cover which comes out ahead of the Super Bowl. Maybe having the Giants on the cover next week will “out-jinx” having the Patriots on the cover this week. I can only hope!

UPDATE 2.1.12: Well, it looks like SI has it out for the Patriots. Coming off of last week’s cover shot of Tom Brady, they went ahead and pulled a double doozy on the Patriots by putting owner Bob Kraft on its cover. That’s two weeks in a row of bad SI cover karma.

Sportsmen of the Year

In a seemingly fitting end to a magical baseball season in Red Sox Nation, Sports Illustrated has named the 2004 Red Sox their Sportsmen of the Year for their improbably and spectacular run to the franchise’s first World Series win in 86 years. We just can’t get enough of this story!! The Red Sox have now been on the cover of Sports Illustrated six times during 2004 and it will be seven when their year end Sportsmen issue hits newsstands soon. The cover art is really cool and it is yet another publication that I will add to my collection of magazines, newspapers, photographs and lithographs that I have accumulated this year. Lets hope this off season is not too damaging and the Sox can make another strong run in 2005 into late October.

Double SI Curse

This can’t be happening. Last week, Sports Illustrated put Tom Brady and my New England Patriots on the cover of their NFL Preview issue (and then have the gaul to not even put an article about the team in the issue!). Then this week, SI puts Curt Schilling and my Boston Red Sox on the cover. Consipiracy theorists will note that Sports Illustrated is edited in New York City and that the Managing Editor, knowing full well about the “SI Jinx”, must be a Yankee fan.

Sure, its nice that two of my favorite teams are part what is probably a unique situation (two different teams from two of the major sports, from the same marketplace, gracing back-to-back covers of Sports Illustrated…I’d love to know if this has happened before). However, I think I speak for everyone in Red Sox Nation, and Patriots Nation in asking the editors of Sports Illustrated to please find another set of teams to put on the cover at this time. The Red Sox are playing brilliantly these days and they don’t need any supernatural forces cooling them down. And they have famously had more than enough trouble winning championships in the past 82 years, while repeating as Super Bowl champions is not exactly the easiest task, even if the Patriots have vastly improved themselves this year vs. their 2003 championship team.

As most sports fans know, there has been a strange but un-scientific curse on some of those who have appeared on the SI cover during critical points in their season or career. The curse has resulted in critical losses by teams appearing on the cover, and season ending injuries for star players, and just strange happenings to the person or team that has appeared on the cover.

Update: In keeping with the legend of the Sports Illustrated curse, Curt Schilling pulled a ligament in his right ankle during the Anaheim series and, as we all know, got shelled during the first game with the Yankees. As you can see above, he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Coincidence? Curse? The evidence is there. Same thing happened to Nomar two years ago.