Sports Illustrated Jinx

2002-01-16 09:26 ☼ post

That Old Black Magic

Millions of superstitious readers — and many athletes — believe that an appearance on Sports Illustratedís cover is the kiss of death. But is there really such a thing as the SI Jinx? In this week’s issue, senior writer Alexander Wolff attempts to answer that very question.

If there’s no jinx then there have definitely been some deadly coincidences and it’s been going on since the 50′s. According the article, in January of 1955, The week that an issue featuring her was on the stands, skier Jill Kinmont struck a tree during a practice run and was paralyzed from the neck down.” A few years later, SIs 1958 Indy 500 preview featured Pat O’Connor, who was killed in a 15-car pileup during the first lap.

Obviously most athletes don’t seem to meet untimely ends after being featured on the cover, but according to Alexander Wolff’s follow up column, In investigating virtually all of SIs 2,456 covers, we found 913 jinxes’ — a demonstrable misfortune or decline in performance following a cover appearance roughly 37.2 percent of the time.”