He Said What? Kevin Durant, Lil B, and the Craziest Sports Curses

  • The Curse of the Bambino

    The curse of the Bambino is one of the most well known in the sports world — and one New York Yankees fans wished never ended. You can’t have a feature like this without mentioning Babe Ruth, New York, and Boston.

    The story starts in the year 1920 when the previously lackluster New York Yankees acquired Babe Ruth from the World Series-wining Boston Red Sox in a trade. Fortunes switched after the trade in favor of the Yankees as they went on to be one of the most successful franchises in sports. The Boston Red Sox, on the other hand, suffered through over 80 years of championship-less baseball.

    Red Sox fans tried everything to lift the curse. This included placing a cap on Mt. Everest to even exorcising the demons out of Fenway Park by hiring a priest, but to no avail. It wasn’t until 2004 that the curse was finally broken, but it was under the spookiest circumstances.

    It was Game 4 of the World Series with the Red Sox one win away from a title. On this night there was a total lunar eclipse. The Red Sox eventually ended up winning the game and the World Series. This was the first time a total lunar eclipse happened during a World Series game, coming immediately after the Red Sox became the first team to come back from down 0-3 during the ALCS against New York. How creepy is that?

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  • The Madden Curse

    Friendships are won and lost, as well as plenty of controllers broken due to the Madden video game franchise. But another thing this game might be causing is weird hexes among those who grace its cover. Football players have a history of struggles or even injury after appearing on the cover. This all started with former San Francisco 49er Garrison Hearst in 1999, who was breaking records as a running back. But that wasn’t the only thing he broke. During the playoffs he broke his ankle and struggled to regain his former glory.

    The Madden Curse has supposedly claimed lots of victims, and most of them big names. Michael Vick, Peyton Hillis, and Donovan McNabb, are just a few of them. This year the chosen player has been Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman. If he continues his rise as a star, he’ll prove the curse wrong just like Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson. The two were featured on the cover but even the spell didn’t work on these beasts as they turned in some great performances.

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  • World Cup Witch Doctors

    The FIFA World Cup was bigger than ever this year. So in a sport like soccer, which is put on the world stage every four years, there has to be some weird curses, right? If these guys will bite, headbutt, or flop their way to win, then some teams must have tried some other oddball practices. Well, if you guessed hiring a witch doctor to curse an opposing team with voodoo magic, then you are correct.

    In 1970, the Australian national soccer team was in a World Cup qualifying match against Rhodesia. But prior to the match they hired a witch doctor to work his shaman magic. He did so by burying bones by the goal posts and placing a curse on the opposing team. Australia got the W, but one thing they were unable to do was pay the witch doctor. He eventually placed a spell on the team that left them failing to quality for the World Cup for a span of 32 years. The spell was only lifted when another witch doctor was hired to reverse the hex. In 2006, the Australian national team finally qualified for the World Cup.

    Then in a continuation of this, a Ghana witch doctor claims that before this year’s World Cup, he used some spell to bring harm to Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo. In typical eerie fashion, the forward went on to deal with ailing injuries throughout the tournament.

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  • The Curse of the Breaking Ball

    Trouble with the curve was Pedro Cerrano’s problem. From the hilarious Major League trilogy, the power-hitting outfielder of the Cleveland Indians could hit a homer with any other pitch, but the breaking ball was his Achilles’ heel. To go about breaking the spell, he tried everything

    He famously once said, “Jesus, I like him very much, but he no help with curveball.”

    Voodoo was his religion of choice where he prayed to Jobu for help. There was even a “hats for bats” situation to “keep bats warm” and prevent them from getting sick. And he communicated with spirits through séance rituals. None of these helped cure the curse.

    Cerrano eventually stopped relying on magic and trusted his skill. He eventually connected with a breaking ball and sent it flying out the out the park, ultimately breaking his curse.

    Okay, so this isn’t a real thing, yet the real life Cleveland Indians are probably cursed because they haven’t won a World Series since 1920.

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  • Kevin Durant
    Lil B and Kevin Durant

    And finally, there’s the hilarious made-for-social media struggle between KD and Lil B. To get the full history of this, you have to go way back to 2011. It all started when Kevin Durant, the nicest guy in the NBA, spoke ill of Lil B’s name on Twitter. “I tried to listen to Lil B and my mind wouldn’t let me do it… can’t believe this guy is relevant,” read the Tweet that KD now probably regrets. To top it off, it wasn’t a direct jab, but a subtweet.

    The rapper, also known as “Based God,” got wind of this, and cooked up a curse more potent than a potion containing a lizard’s leg and an eye of newt. And the most powerful ingredient of all was a hashtag.

    “Kevin Durant will never win the title after he said ‘Lil B’ is a wack rapper,” he tweeted. Then he close out his spell with “’The Basedgods Curse’ #TBASEDGODSCURSE ON DURANT- Lil B”

    From then on it was all over.

    KD was still on top of his game, but he hasn’t quite lifted the “curse” yet. At one point Lil B even lifted the curse, but for some reason put the hex back on in tweets and song form. The curse continued to wreck havoc. Promising seasons ended in disappointment; his teammate Russell Westbrook got hurt, and the Oklahoma City Thunder came up short again last year. One lesson from this whole fiasco: don’t speak ill of the Based God or you will get the wrath coming to you realer than The Rapture.

    In all seriousness, this has been one of the reasons why we love Twitter. We’re foaming at the mouth to see what happens here once KD and the Thunder win that inevitable title.

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  • Pedro Martinez
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Kevin Durant

Whether you are a superstitious person or not, you sometimes have to acknowledge that stuff can get a little weird.

Curses have been making peoples’ minds explode since the dawn of time. Superstitious or not, sometimes there are just occurrences in this world that would even leave scientists scratching their heads looking for an explanation. In a world like sports where winning is everything, it helps to have Lady Luck on your side. But sometimes even all the four leaf clovers and skill in the world can’t repel that bad juju.

This hasn’t been more apparent than with the latest Kevin Durant and Lil B “beef.” This weekend, Durant has the new Nike KD7 “Calm Before the Storm” colorway dropping at Champs Sports, continuing a long line of ridiculously sick signature colorways. However, even as he has conquered the sneaker industry, KD is still searching for that first NBA title.

This now comedic curse isn’t the only one that has happened in sports; there are plenty. From the Curse of the Bambino to “The Based God’s Curse” we take a look back at some of the well-known jinxes in sports history.

Follow Teofilo on Twitter at @teofeelme