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The 'Sports Illustrated' Cover Jinx

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Kevin Durant Wins Gold In Men’s Individual Basketball

RIO DE JANEIRO—Beating out Serbian Nikola Jokic by .87 points in order to claim the all-around title, U.S. forward Kevin Durant won Olympic gold Friday in men’s individual basketball, becoming the first man to win consecutive golds in the competition since Gary Payton at the 1996 and 2000 Games.

Michael Phelps Spots Estranged Father Poseidon In Stands

RIO DE JANEIRO—Immediately recognizing the booming, thunderous voice he hadn’t heard since he was 5 years old as he warmed up ahead of his first heat in the 200-meter individual medley, U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps reportedly spotted his long-estranged father, Poseidon, God of the Sea, cheering for him Thursday in the stands of the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.
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The 'Sports Illustrated' Cover Jinx

For decades it's been assumed that making the cover of Sports Illustrated equals bad luck. Evidence indicates this may in fact be the case.

  • 1954: Eddie Mathews, Wes Westrum, and Augie Donatelli all grace the cover of the debut issue of Sports Illustrated; less than 50 years later, all are dead
  • 1961: An early attempt to disprove the cover jinx backfires horribly when figure skater Laurence Owen appears on the cover with the caption "America's Most Exciting Figure Skater Who Surely Won't Die In A Plane Crash This Week"
  • 1971: Lew Alcindor is prominently displayed on the NBA playoffs preview issue; several months later, Alcindor apparently disappears off the face of the earth
  • 1991: Sports Illustrated begins a long period of creative and journalistic decline just weeks after featuring a picture of itself on the cover
  • 1999: The magazine features a piece on Electronic Arts' decision to put a picture of a player on the cover of its Madden series of games
  • 2003: Petra Nemcova graces the cover of the swimsuit issue and within a week becomes the victim of thousands of masturbations
  • 2008: Tom Brady suffers a torn MCL and ACL after SI publishes a photo of the quarterback's knee with the caption "Indestructible"

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