Flashback to the year 1987— Joe Carter and Cory Snyder of the Cleveland Indians graced the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, an issue which picked that year’s Cleveland Indians team to win the World Series. Undoubtedly it was a prideful moment for the city, the team and the fans; and rightfully so.
The results, however, were a far cry from the predicted outcome.
The 1987 season for the tribe was nothing short of disastrous, as the team finished with the worst record in all of baseball at 61 wins and 101 losses.
Not good. Cue classic Cleveland bedlam.
In typical Cleveland fashion, it would seem a new sporting curse was born that year. Add it to the list.
That is why Tribe fans all over the nation were suddenly thrust into petrifaction and even panic this past week, when Sports Illustrated released all four of their regional covers for their magazine. To the horror of many fans, they stared face-to-face with none other than last year’s Cy Young award winner, Corey Kluber, and 2014 MVP candidate Michael Brantley.
The title? “Wait Till This Year,” with the subheading of “Why Cleveland? Why not Cleveland. Why the Tribe will win it’s first series since 1948.”
Many took to twitter to express their concern, and a slew of outraged tweets directed towards Sports Illustrated gradually filled the timelines of anyone who has interest in the team. One such person was Dustin Fox, a former Ohio State football player and member of the 2002 National Championship team (he currently works as a local radio Cleveland sports analyst), and he responded by simply tweeting out, “Don’t Jinx Us!” His feelings echo what many Clevelanders feel, and Sports Illustrated has since come out with an article apologizing for stirring up bad memories of that fateful ’87 season.
Some of the players, like the fans, also possess superstitions of their own. Baseball, as it would stand, is one of those sports where players and managers all around the league are known to have their own quirky superstitious beliefs that they swear they must follow in order to succeed. (Some players wear the same socks to every game, for example.)
However it appears that the Indians aren’t too worried about any potential jinx for their upcoming season. When asked if he believes in the Sports Illustrated curse, Michael Brantley told Cleveland.com, “I don’t know the SI jinx. I’ve never heard of it. I don’t want to hear about it.”
Kluber was also asked if he had any concern, but his response was a bit more concise (and very Kluber-esque):
That being said, fans shouldn’t look too much into any sort of jinx that Sports Illustrated may have cast down upon the city of Cleveland and its professional baseball team. This year’s squad has the ability to compete with any team in the league, with solid hitting and a good core of talented pitchers that will serve as the team’s bread and butter.
They also have one of the most respectable managers at the helm to guide them in, Terry Francona—he knows what it takes to win it all. The main issue isn’t anything “curse”-related, but that there are about 20 other teams in the MLB this year that have a decent shot at competing for the championship. The league is as deep as it’s been in recent memory, and the Indians will have their work cut out for them (curse or no curse).