From the Andretti curse to the "Curse of the Bambino", sports curses have often been used to explain the misfortunes of particular players or teams. With Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s performance at the most recent race at Phoenix International Raceway, as well as an overall terrible season, there can be no other explanation than that he is just plain cursed.
Dale Jr. and the No. 88 AMP team had high hopes coming into this race weekend at Phoenix. They practiced well and Junior and his team were confident that they could finally pull off a good finish.
Unfortunately, the curse of the Dale Jr. struck during one of the restarts. The front of the field stacked up, causing Junior to jump out of line, hook the apron and lose control of his car.
Junior's car was then hit by Ryan Newman and the rest of the field stacked up in a wad behind him. Tony Stewart, Joey Logano, Bobby Labonte, and a host of other drivers were involved in the melee.
Rather than a good race finish as anticipated, Junior finished in the cursed 35th position, many laps down.
Earnhardt's over the wall crew members also experienced the curse. The team was involved in a car accident on the way to the track.
The team vehicle was T-boned by by another vehicle at an intersection close to the track. All six team members were shaken up by the incident, but were checked out in the infield care center and reported to work.
Their work ethic was put to the test as they had to put their sore, aching bodies aside as they tried to repair Junior's car after this spin and wreck, which did major damage to the race car.
This most recent race finish and on-track incident with the No. 88 team is just the icing on the cake of the miserable season that Junior has endured. In spite of his teammates all being in the championship chase, Dale Jr. has instead lagged behind, currently sitting in the 23rd position in the points.
Earnhardt is winless in the 2009 season, and will end the season that way unless he takes the checkered flag at the final race in Homestead next weekend. He has only two top-fives and five top-ten finishes to show for the 2009 season.
So, who on earth is responsible for the curse of the Dale Jr.? After all, the man is NASCAR's most popular driver and has been tapped to carry on the racing legacy of his most beloved father.
There is, however, bad blood in the family, with Dale Sr.'s widow Teresa releasing Junior from the family company and ending his dream to own a piece of his father's company. Could the curse of the Junior come from such a close family member?
Perhaps it is that voodoo product that shines his cars that is responsible for the curse of the Dale Jr.? One only needs to look at that product logo, which is basically a skull inside a "V", to wonder if there is somehow something cursed associated with it.
Or maybe there is some disgruntled customer of Junior's bar Whiskey River that had a little too much to drink and put the whammy on the driver. Another possibility is a rival on I-racing who is just fed up with Junior's dominance in on-line racing, and is sticking pins into an No. 88 Cabbage Patch doll.
Maybe Junior is experiencing a curse similar to the John Madden curse, where players that appear on Madden's video games suffer injuries or setbacks. There is a similar Sports Illustrated cover curse that also may be affecting NASCAR's most popular driver.
With no other explanation available for this continuing bad luck that Junior and his team are suffering, it comes down to simply being cursed.
Instead of going directly to Homestead, Earnhardt and company may just want to book an appointment with a priest for an exorcism or consult the nearest shaman.