NFL: 5 Most Bizarre Curses in League History

Hayden Bird@haydenhbirdCorrespondent IJune 24, 2011

NFL: 5 Most Bizarre Curses in League History

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    The idea of a curse is a debate in and of itself. Simply saying a team cannot win because of some off-the-field reason is as preposterous to some people as it is sensible to others.

    And while the NFL may not have all of the best curses in sports, they do have some of the most bizarre. Looking around the league, there are some curses which, in my opinion, aren't real curses.

    The Buffalo Bills, for example, aren't cursed so much as they are simply unlucky. Heck, they even cheered Scott Norwood despite him missing the winning field goal. That was pure class. There's no reason why they're jinxed.

    But there are genuine curses out there, so why not have a look at some of strangest?

No. 5: Joe Namath Sells His Soul for a Super Bowl

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    Ever wonder why Joe Namath seemed so sure about his "guarantee" before the Super Bowl III?

    Well, some people think he might have had some inside knowledge.

    Apparently, Broadway Joe made a "deal with the Devil" in order to win the game (which the Jets promptly did over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts, 16-7).

    Since that game though, the Jets haven't reached another Super Bowl and Namath's previously soaring career suffered.

    That said, Super Bowl III did put the AFL on the map and helped to legitimize the 1970 merger, so maybe it was for the better of the group?

No. 4: Marcus Allen Curses Al Davis and the Raiders

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    Many people remember Marcus Allen, Hall of Fame running back, from his days with the Oakland/L.A. Raiders.

    His reverse-field run in Super Bowl XVIII helped to secure the Raiders third Super Bowl trophy.

    Yet Raiders owner Al Davis, never one to hide his true opinion, called Allen a "cancer to the team" during a contract dispute.

    Allen eventually left the Raiders and has cursed Al Davis, allegedly hexing a Davis photo and keeping it in his freezer.

    If that's true, you have to say it: kinda creepy.

    But nonetheless effective, because since then the Raiders have largely been a shadow of their former selves, with the obvious exception of the Super Bowl in 2003 (though they did lose).

    Even things like the "tuck-rule game" might have them spooked.

    In the end, Allen went into the Hall as a Chief, not a Raider. Maybe time to setup a covert mission into someone's freezer?

No. 3: The Chunky Soup Curse

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    This one's weird, but has some strange logic to it.

    Don't ask me why people would get cursed endorsing Campbell's Chunky Soup, but they do.

    Jerome Bettis, Terrell Davis, Matt Hasselback, Donovan McNabb, Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Strahan Ladainian Tomlinson and Brian Urlacher all suffered injuries or downturns after appearing the commercials.

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that, other then McNabb, none appeared with their real mother's in the ad, choosing actors instead.

No. 2: Super Bowl Loser Curse

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    Not since the 1972 Miami Dolphins has a team lost in the Super Bowl one year and returned the next season to win it.

    In fact, most teams don't make it nearly so close as to even be in the big game again during the subsequent season.

    With minor exceptions (such as the 2000 Tennessee Titans), nearly every Super Bowl loser does worse the next year. Call it a hangover or a let down curse, whatever it is certainly seems to be effective in curtailing teams.

    The only teams to get back to the big show the next year after losing (other than Miami) were the '87 Broncos and the Bills during the early 90's. And they both lost, with Buffalo losing four in a row eventually.


No. 1: The Madden Curse

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    It had to be this one. Clearly the most bizarre but undeniable curse in all of football.

    It's claimed an enormous amount of destruction. Eddie George, Daunte Culpepper, Marshall Faulk, Shaun Alexander, Brett Farve (at least his PR image).

    Mike Vick's year on the cover (Madden 2004) set off a disastrous campaign where he broke his leg in preseason and missed 12 games. His hitherto Super Bowl sleeper team, the Falcons, went 5-11.

    Some players have weathered the curse (Larry Fitzgerald for one). But then again, the jury's still out on whether he'll play for a winner again, so we'll see.

    I understand there are people out there who don't believe in curses. They think it's B.S.

    But hey, say that to the Madden video game's PR head, who's finding it harder and harder to get star players to be on the cover of one of the world's most popular video games. Is it all coincidence? Maybe. Then again, Maybe not.

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