Got home from church Thursday night and saw it on the kitchen counter - my copy of Sports Illustrated magazine. I've been reading SI since a teenager and the magazine has arrived in my mailbox, with just a few interruptions, ever since.
This week's cover is a thing of beauty - stretched out, air born, hauling in a 48 yard touchdown pass is Cardinals rookie wide receiver, John Brown. Brown's touchdown catch on a ball thrown by backup quarterback, Drew Stanton, put the Cardinals in the lead to stay as they went on to beat the St. Louis Rams.
I stood there for a moment, admiring the picture, when suddenly I became filled with a feeling of absolute dread.
The curse! The curse of the SI cover! THE CARDINALS HAVE BEEN CURSED BY THE SI COVER!
You think I'm going a little overboard about this?
Over the years it seems that the week a sports team or individual athlete is featured on SI's cover, they suffer a horrible loss of some kind during the following week.
For whatever reason, being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated often brings some kind of disaster for a team or an individual player. Maybe the research guys at FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.com could crunch the number and see if there really is a curse connected to being on the cover of SI. The results might surprise us all.
In any event, I'm not too worried. If anyone can break the curse of the Sports Illustrated cover, it's Cardinals coach, Bruce Arians.
Arians is a no-nonsense football lifer. He coached with the legendary Bear Bryant of Alabama and adheres to Bryant's coaching philosophy, "Coach 'em hard and love 'em later." He's a plain speaker in the manner of President Harry Truman. Women and young children are advised not to attend Arians' press conferences. To steal a line from the late broadcast icon, Howard Cosell, Arians is not afraid to "tell it like it is."
That's why I'm not worried about the curse. I'm sure Arians doesn't believe in it and isn't concerned about it. I'll bet if he were asked, Arians would say "@#$%&* the curse!"
Sunday's checklist for the Cardinals is as follows: 1) Beat the Lions - this is going to be a tough game. 2) Kill the curse! In that order.