Yankee Vets Victims of the SI Jinx?
Whether you believe in the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx or not, there’s no denying that it, along with the Madden Cover Curse, has produced some pretty significant coincidences over the years. Drew Brees will appear on the cover of Madden 2011, but doesn’t seem too concerned about having a hex put on him as a result. Things got really interesting two years ago, when Brett Favre appeared on the Cover of Madden 09. Had he ended up missing time with an injury that season for the first time in his career, more people would have been sold on the idea of a curse. Of course, Favre ended up beating it and keeping his consecutive games played streak alive.
For those who do believe in these types of jinxes, your argument gained a little strength on May 3, when the above image (left) was featured as Sports Illustrated’s cover. Since its release, Yankees fan Jimmy Traina pointed out that three of the “Core Four” players have missed time due to injury. Jorge Posada has recently been replaced as the regular catcher by Francisco Cervelli due to a calf strain. Joba Chamberlain has filled in as the team’s closer while Mariano Rivera rests an ailing soreness in his side, and Andy Pettitte was removed relatively early from a game in which he was pitching effectively against the Orioles because of some swelling in his elbow. So far, Derek Jeter appears to still be healthy.
Of course, the “Core Four” players are being called such because they have been a part of the Yankees for most of the last 15 years (with the exception of Pettitte, who spent a few seasons elsewhere). That, of course, means they are getting old. Pettitte and Posada are both 38 and Rivera is 40. With age comes injuries, and the Yankees were able to defy age last year. Many analysts did not choose them as the favorite to repeat as champions this year simply because it would be tough to imagine them staying as healthy as they did last season, given the age of some of their core players. Therefore, while it is certainly an enormous coincidence that the Yankees have been bitten by the injury bug less than a week after a Sports Illustrated cover was released featuring four of their best players, that’s probably all it is – a coincidence. On the other hand, if you were on the fence about whether or not to believe in the SI Cover Curse before, this may be enough to tip the scale for you.
As for the Bubble Wrap image above, business manager Rohn Schellenberger of the Bubble Wrap Company — which is located in New Jersey — has sent a gift to Fenway Park in an attempt to help protect Jeter from falling victim to The Curse. Here’s what Schellenberger had to say about the gesture, courtesty of USA Today:
We know you don’t believe in “silly” curses like the Sports Illustrated cover jinx, but with Mariano, Jorge and now Andy set to miss time with injury, there is no doubt that this jinx has started to become too real to ignore. To assure that you don’t become the final member of the Core Four to ride the pine to miss riding the pine, Bubble Wrap Cushioning…We hope this will provide the protection you need to keep the jinx from popping the Yankees’ jinx from popping the Yankees’ hopes of winning its 28th World Series championship. Good luck, and beat those Boston Red Sox this weekend!”