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May 12, 2017

Ah, Curses!

FalconsLet’s be honest – as a sports fan, it’s an unbelievable feeling when YOUR favorite team, or a team from your state, wins a title and/or championship and “goes to the show”. As a fan, you believe that you had something to do with it.

There was so much excitement here in Atlanta when the Falcons became the NFC Champs, and we knew we were headed to the Super Bowl. You high-fived or started conversations with random people just because they were wearing the appropriate sports gear. You were part of a family, and your family was going to win!!!!

Yes, sadly it’s true that the Atlanta Falcons lost to the New England Patriots (congrats Pats), and in the aftermath people immediately started talking about the “Atlanta curse.” Well, it got me thinking.

As far as National teams, Atlanta has the Falcons, The Braves, The Hawks, and Atlanta United. We used to have the Thrashers, and I loved them dearly and went to MANY Games – and was truly heartbroken when they left. But I digress. ☹

By the way, since it’s baseball season: Go Braves!!!

BravesThe Braves: Since 1876, the Braves franchise has won 16 divisional titles, 17 National League pennants, and three World Series championships.
In 1914 as the Boston Braves,
In 1957 as the Milwaukee Braves,
and in 1995 as the Atlanta Braves.

The Falcons: The Atlanta Falcons franchise has NEVER won the Super Bowl (again, congrats other team), but has appeared in the Super Bowl 2 times.

The Hawks: The Atlanta Hawks franchise has won 1 championship, in 1958.

Atlanta United: New to the area – too soon to tell.

Sooooo…does Atlanta have a curse? Are we doomed to always be a bridesmaid but never, or rarely, the bride?

According to Wikipedia this is the definition of a sports curse:
“A sports-related curse is a superstitious belief in the effective action of some power or evil, that is used to explain the failures or misfortunes of specific sports teams, players, or even cities.”

Are WE the only city, or fan base, to have this kind of sadness and curse on us? It’s been more than 20 years since WE last held up a championship trophy. Does anyone else know this kind of sadness and despair? Are we all alone in this heartbreak??
No! Not by a long shot. Here are a few famous curses:

The Curse of the Bambino
In 1920, the Red Sox decided to trade Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. This became one of the most famous sports curses of all time. Before the trade, the Red Sox had won five World Series, and the Yankees none. Once the trade happened…the Boston Red Sox baseball team failed to win the World Series from 1918 to 2004.

BravesThe Curse of Billy Penn
Philadelphia had a policy of not allowing any building to become higher than the statue of the city’s founder, William Penn, which is atop City Hall. For whatever reason, this changed in 1987 when a building, One Liberty Place, became 400 feet taller than City Hall. Thus, the curse of Philly’s pro sports teams began. Over the next 20 years, the Flyers lost the Stanley Cup twice (1987,1997), the Phillies lost the World Series (1993), the 76ers lost the NBA Finals (2001) and the Eagles lost the Super Bowl (2004). In 2007, when the Comcast Center became Philadelphia’s tallest building, workers attached a figurine of Penn to the final beam. It worked, as the Phillies won the World Series the next year.

The Curse of Bobby Layne
Bobby Layne was a Quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and even though he led Detroit to three NFL Championship (1952,1953,1957), the Lions thought Bobby was past his prime, the traded him to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rumor has it that as Layne left, he said that Detroit would not win for 50 years. Over those 50 years, the Lions had the worst winning percentage of any NFL team. On the 50th anniversary of the trade, the curse ended as the Lions became the first NFL team to go 0-16.

The Curse of the Billy Goat
As the story goes, William Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Bar, went to Wrigley Field to watch game four of the 1945 World Series. He brought his pet goat with him. In the 7th inning, Cubs owner Philip Wrigley ejected Sianis and the goat – stating that they had too many complaints about the smell. Sianis reportedly said, “Them Cubs, they aren’t gonna win no more.” The Cubs lost the next three games, and ended up losing the World Series to the Detroit Tigers. Reportedly, Sianis sent Philip Wrigley a telegram asking “Who smells now?”
This curse lasted many, many, many years, but thankfully was crushed as the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016!

So, fellow sad fans, we join you in solidarity, we hold our heads up and wear our team gear with pride, and know (or at least pray) that we -The Braves, The Hawks, The Falcons and Atlanta United – will one day….Rise Up Again! Or, maybe, for the first time ever!

Photo of Falcons fans courtesy of MyAJC.com

Photo of Braves courtesy of New South Essays

Photo of William Penn courtesy of Phindie

Information courtesy of http://listverse.com

-Amy Taylor

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