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Hanshin Tigers carry Curse of the KFC Colonel Sanders with Nippon League win

Sport is plagued by tales of curses.

The Mayo curse — whereby Mayo’s Gaelic Footballers won’t ever win one other All Eire whereas any member of the 1951 All Eire successful group that supposedly disrespected a funeral throughout their celebrations remains to be alive.

The final surviving participant of that group, Paddy Prendergast, handed away aged 95 in 2021 — two weeks after Mayo’s most up-to-date look within the closing, which they misplaced, their thirteenth defeat in a closing because the curse was laid.

The Andretti curse — the place Mario Andretti claimed victory within the 1969 Indianapolis 500, just for each him and his descendants to all undergo extraordinary unhealthy luck in nearly each working since then.

The Norm Smith curse — Melbourne broke this in 2021, instigated in 1965 when the Demons parted methods with legendary coach Norm Smith the 12 months after their twelfth AFL premiership in 1964.

Then, to a lesser extent, there’s the Kennett Curse, the place a ill-judged quote from then-Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett after the 2008 AFL grand closing victory over Geelong by claiming the Cats gamers did not have the “psychological drive” to beat the Hawks led to a run of Cats wins.

That curse solely lasted 11 matches, 9 of which Geelong gained by lower than 10 factors, earlier than being damaged — paradoxically in a match that mattered, the 2013 prelim — however solely two years after Kennett gave up the presidency.

Baseball although, supplies a listing like no different.

The Curse of the Billy Goat, which lasted 71 years from 1945 — when William Sianis and his pet goat Murphy had been requested to go away Wriggly Discipline — till the Cubs gained the 2016 title.

The Curse of the Bambino lasted even longer, 86 years for the Boston Purple Sox between 1918 and 2004 after they offered Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920.

However what in regards to the Curse of the Colonel?

The statue was just a little worse for put on when it was recovered from the underside of the river.(Reuters: Kyodo)

In 1985, Japanese skilled baseball group the Hanshin Tigers, primarily based in Osaka, gained the Central League for the primary time in 21 years and celebrated accordingly.

Followers streamed into the streets and, in a match of ardour, kidnapped a statue of Colonel Harland Sanders, from outdoors a neighborhood KFC restaurant and threw it into the Dōtonbori river.

The explanation for that is as a result of passing resemblance of their American first baseman and subsequent Oklahoma senator Randy Bass to the Colonel.

The Tigers went on to win the Japan Sequence that 12 months and the celebrations continued.

After that although, the group’s performances went backwards, ending backside of the league in 4 of the subsequent six years and an extra six occasions within the subsequent decade.

The group needed to wait till 2003 to win one other Central League pennant and went on to lose the Japan Sequence — the Nippon League’s equal of the World Sequence — thrice, in 2003, 2005 and 2014.

The physique of the statue was recovered in 2009, but it surely was lacking its glasses and left hand, with some saying solely the whole restoration of your complete statue may carry the curse.

So when the group reached the ultimate this 12 months, towards the defending champions and native rivals, Orix Buffaloes, trepidation was within the air greater than hope.

However the Tigers got here out on high 7-1 in sport seven of the collection on the Osaka Dome to assert a primary Japan Sequence title in 38 years.

To have a good time and, maybe show they know the curse was superstition, the Tigers supporters threw one other model of the Colonel — this time a fan wearing a gray wig, white coat and glasses — into the fetid Dōtonbori river.

Maybe to allay fears of the cruse repeating itself, the person was pulled out quickly after, to proceed his joyful parade by means of the streets.

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