Two Western Hills High School baseball players have been kicked off their team after allegedly killing baby chickens in a superstitious act aimed at turning their success around on the field. This is not a joke. The report hit the Associated Press after initially appearing in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and SI web producer Andy Gray called it the oddest story he’s seen. I wouldn’t call it as strange as I would disturbing.
Anyone who follows baseball and watches sports movies know that sacrificing chickens has deep cinematic ties. In Bull Durham, they needed to sacrifice a live chicken to take the hex off Jose’s glove. In Major League, Pedro Cerrano was looking to sacrifice a live chicken to give him more power for the team’s game against the Yankees. And even in real MLB, we’ve seen two acts of voodoo superstition recently (see this and this).
Western Hills High coach Bobby McIntire is pretty convinced the movies inspired his players for their alleged acts. “Baseball is very superstitious, and I assume [movies like Major League and Bull Durham] are where they got it from,” McIntire said.” Duh, do we really think a few teenagers could have come up with this idea on their own? And what’s wrong with these kids? Couldn’t they have just done the sensible thing and headed to KFC or Popeyes or something?