Photo: Damir Sencar/Shutterstock

Is Nike's World Cup Commercial Cursed?

Ivory Coast France United States Travel
by Candice Walsh Jul 5, 2010
In a bizarre series of coincidences, it appears that Nike’s World Cup “Write the Future” commercial might be cursing the players it features.

Out of the 13 soccer players shown in the video, only three remain in the World Cup.

The Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba broke his arm pre-tournament, and while he was able to play in two games with the use of a special cast, the team was quickly put out. Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro managed to concede five goals in three games before his team was eliminated in the group stage.

France dropped their team captain, Patrice Evra, who lead the team in a “refusal to train” protest when the French Football Federation sent Nicolas Anelka home for insulting the team’s manager.

On the American side, a scandal is developing over American Landon’s apparent link to a British woman’s unborn baby.

The list goes on and on, with only a few people spared. Even the non-World Cup players are at risk: six-time champion Roger Federer just lost at Wimbeldon to Tomas Berdych.

You can watch the “cursed” commercial here.

Similar curses have popped up in American sports. Athletes featured on the cover of EA’s Madden NFL game are subject to injuries and other kinds of misfortune. Players affected by the jinx have included Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who injured his knee in a game versus the Tennessee Titans. Donovan McNabb of the Washington Redskins also suffered from an injury and then was accused of playing the “race-card” by Philadelphia NCAA president Jerry Mondesire.
Sports Illustrated is accused of its own curse, affecting athletes who appear on the cover. In one instance, Washington quarterback Bob Schloredt lost a game for his team by fumbling a snap a week after being pictured receiving one on the cover. Some 913 SI covers are listed as “jinxed”.

Some people take the curse pretty seriously: Kurt Warner actually refused to appear on the cover of the issue which explored the jinxes.

At least there has been no direct correlation between curses and the cover of the Vanity Fair issue featuring the muscly World Cup athletes in their underwear. Otherwise, we’d have another reason to mourn.

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