Exhibit A is an international sportsman at the very peak of his career. Exhibit B is a middle-class man who's been dealt a series of cruel blows, and is beginning to feel that life is not worth living. The sportsman attracts multi-million-dollar endorsements and makes it to the cover of several magazines, including the one he most covets, Sports Illustrated. The middle-class man considers slashing his wrists, but has too many responsibilities to give up so easily. So he makes a journey to an acclaimed godman, whose blessings alone have been known to turn lives around. Sure enough, things take a turn for the better. Meanwhile, the sportsman's career starts going downhill.
What do these two stories have in common? Plenty. They are, in a statistical sense, the same story. Let me explain.
The sportsman is a victim of The Sports Illustrated Jinx. This is an urban legend based on the observation that a disproportionate number of individuals and teams who appear on the cover of SportsRead More »from The Godman’s Blessing and the Sportsman’s Curse