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Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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cityquette... by steve deossie If those were the Mega Millions odds, I'd be buying my ticket right now. Consider this. March 5, 2001: Nomar Garciaparra is fea- tured on the cover and in a story about his extreme off-season conditioning program. That season he breaks his wrist and his career goes in a different direction. October 13, 2003: The Boston Red Sox are on the cover. They proceed to have a monumental collapse, allowing the dreaded Yankees advance to the World Series. to September 2008: The NFL Preview issue fea- tures Tom Brady on the cover. Just minutes into the first game of the season, Brady suffers a knee injury, knocking him out for the entire season. Tom Brady appeared on the cover on January 30, 2012. You know what happened next. an open plea to sports illustrated WHAT'S WORSE THAN THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO? THE JINX OF THE SI COVER. W hen it comes to fan behavior in Boston, we don't always have a ster- ling reputation. But we're the victims here, right? What other town's teams have been so plagued with curses and jinxes? Somehow we have come to hold our sports superstitions dear. It's hard to believe otherwise when the evidence tends to pile up. As such, we wholeheartedly believe in the so-called "cover curse" of Sports Illustrated, which dates back to the publication's earliest days, when Milwaukee Braves baseman Eddie Mathews appeared on the cover in 1954. Mathews promptly broke his hand, and his team ended a nine-game winning streak. There have been countless examples third since then. Lee Trevino failed to make the cut for the US Open shortly after appearing on SI. Pete Rose's 76 44-game winning streak came to an abrupt end after his cover. On February 20, 2012, New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin made his first of two consecutive appearances on the SI cover. The Knicks immediately snapped a seven-game win- ning streak by losing at home to the New Orleans Hornets, the team with the second-worst record in the NBA. The following week, Lin shot one for 11 as the Knicks lost to the Miami Heat 102-88. Sure, this is all anecdotal, but still… When Sports Illustrated addressed the curse in a cover story in 2002, writer Alexander Wolff pointed out that only about 37 percent of the cover sub- jects ended up experiencing what might be described as bad luck. A one-in-three possibility? That seems a little bit more than bad luck to this Boston sports fan. January 10, 2011: Vince Wilfork earns a cover after the final game of the season. The Patriots then lay a huge egg in their next game, losing to the loudmouth, obnoxious New York Jets. But for Patriots fans, the most painful covers surrounded Super Bowl XLVI. In 2012 Tom Brady appeared on the January 30 issue, and the February 6 issue featured Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft—a double dose of SI tempt- ing the fates. You know what happened next. If in a moment of calm, were we to look at the SI cover jinx with an iota of logic, we'd be able to see that this can't be anything more than coinci- dence, surely. We're sophisticated, modern, usually opting for pharmaceuticals over holy water to work our miracles these days. After all, the cover is reserved for teams and players who have accomplished great things. When you are at the top, there are only two options—stay at the top or go down. Yet there's something in the Boston psyche that remembers the heartbreaks, and it all goes back to that 86-year history of heartbreak watching the Sox come so close so many times—'67, '75, '86—but not delivering the win. That's why the curse seems real. So it's with this conflicting mix of deductive reasoning and sports superstition that we make a heartfelt plea to the editors of SI. We think a nice photo of A-Rod and his lip-gloss, or New York Jets head coach/blowhard Rex Ryan predicting yet another championship would be just great for your newsstand sales. Really. BC illustration by daniel o'leary

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