You’d think it would be an honor to appear on a magazine cover, but at Sports Illustrated it’s a curse. Braves third baseman Eddie Mathews appeared on the magazine’s very first issue, then suffered a hand injury a week later and missed seven games. Here’s what happened to other cover subjects:
- Jan. 31, 1955: Skier Jill Kinmont hit a tree and was paralyzed from the neck down.
- Nov. 18, 1957: After the headline “Why Oklahoma Is Unbeatable,” the Sooners immediately lost to Notre Dame.
- May 26, 1958: Formula One driver Pat O’Connor was killed in a 15-car pileup.
- Feb. 13, 1961: Figure skater Laurence Owen died in a plane crash.
- Dec. 14, 1970: The University of Texas fumbled nine times against Notre Dame, losing the Cotton Bowl.
- April 6, 1987: “Believe it! Cleveland is the best team in the American League!” The Indians lost 101 games that year.
- Sept. 4, 1989: Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti’s words about Pete Rose appeared on the cover; days later, Giamatti died of a heart attack.
- June 5, 1995: Giants third baseman Matt Williams broke his foot and missed two and a half months.
The magazine acknowledged the jinx by putting a black cat on a 2002 issue. Rams quarterback Kurt Warner refused to pose with the cat — and the Rams won their next two games and their second consecutive NFC championship.