The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
 
Cubs, Red Sox Ban Sports Illustrated Photographers From Coming Anywhere Near Them
Originally posted 9/29/2003

A security guard shoos away an SI photographer outside of Red Sox team offices
CHICAGO - Chicago Cubs President and CEO Andy McPhail announced Sunday that he will not allow any photographers from "Sports Illustrated" magazine anywhere near his team. McPhail said that he hopes to avoid the infamous "Sports Illustrated" cover jinx, whereby teams or athletes appearing on the cover of the magazine experience ill fortune soon after being featured.

Red Sox manager Grady Little said that his team will impose the same rules. The Red Sox have not won a championship since 1918, the Cubs since 1908.

"We've had enough bad luck," McPhail said Sunday. "We're the Cubs, for God's sake. So, we don't need to be showing up on the cover of 'Sports Illustrated' just when we're going good."

Examples of the so-called "jinx" include Evel Knievel, who appeared on the cover shortly before his ill-fated Snake River Canyon jump in 1974; baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti, whose quote about Pete Rose appeared on the cover the week he died of a heart attack; and golfer Andy North, who appeared on the cover after winning the 1978 US Open, went winless for the next seven years, finally won another US Open, appeared on the cover again, and never won another tournament for the rest of his career. Even the most recent cover featured the then-undefeated University of Oregon football team, which went on to lose Saturday to Washington State 55-16.

"Lord knows, we've had our share of cover curses," said Red Sox manager Little. "We're not letting those guys anywhere near us. And, we sent someone over to their offices to break in and steal any old photos they might have lying around."

In 1995, American League MVP Mo Vaughn went 0-for-14 in the Red Sox three-game playoff series loss to Cleveland, and in 2001 All-Star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra appeared on the cover only days before it was discovered that he had a wrist injury that would cause him to miss all but 21 games that season.

"When I was with the Twins in '87," said the Cubs' McPhail, "we were on the cover three weeks in a row, and we still won the World Series. So it can be done. Even so, we don't want to push our luck."

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