The Curse Of The Seattle Tuba Man

Originally Published:  April 30, 2011, under the title “We Need A Curse!”

We all know about the Curse of the Bambino; it’s a delightful tale.  The Boston Red Sox were the premiere baseball team in America.  From 1912 to 1918, they won 4 championships; up to that point, the Yankees had won 0.  They hadn’t even PLAYED in a World Series until they bought the Babe for $125,000.  Afterward?  Well, they’ve only gone on to play in 40 World Series, winning 27 of them.

And as for Boston?  It took them 86 years before they made it back to the Promised Land.  In between, they went to four World Series, losing them all in spectacular fashion (see:  Buckner, Bill).

Everyone knows that one; you don’t even have to be a sports enthusiast to have heard of the Curse of the Bambino.  I suppose you’d need to be a bit more of a fanatic to know about the Curse of the Billy Goat.

It’s kind of stupid, when you think about it.  Billy Sianis was partaking in a Cubs/Tigers World Series game in 1945.  For some reason, he – *sigh* – had his pet billy goat with him.  For good God-damned reason, Mr. Sianis was ejected from the game for bringing with him a stinking fucking goat!  Who wants to sit there watching a baseball game while you’re smelling some unnatural foulness that doesn’t belong?  Anyway, Mr. Sianis, a Greek immigrant, put a curse on the Cubs from that day forward.  And they haven’t won a title since.

My question is, what’s wrong with you, Cubs fans?  This guy owns and operates the Billy Goat Tavern, and from my understanding this is a VERY popular establishment even today.  Why in Christ’s name would you continue to patronize this establishment???  Knowing what you know about the curse and the man’s supernatural ability to hex your favorite baseball team … why wouldn’t you burn his place to the ground?  And don’t say because now it’s a chain of taverns, because you only need to cut off the head of the dragon!

A much lesser-known curse is more along the lines of the one I’m after.  One city, one franchise is wronged by another; and from the moment that happened, the fiends have paid the price.  For lack of a better title, this one is the Cardinals Football Curse.

I’ll attempt to make this brief:  in 1925, the NFL didn’t have a playoff format.  They didn’t even have a championship game.  Simply put:  whoever had the best record at the end of the season won the “championship”.

The two best teams that year were the Chicago Cardinals (who now play in Arizona, for those keeping track at home), and the Pottsville Maroons (located in Pennsylvania, about 96 miles from Philly and 256 from Pittsburgh).  The Maroons were clearly the best team after a December 6th showdown in Chicago, where they won 21-7 and would have finished with the best record in the league by a half game (10-2 vs. 9-2-1).

Where things get wonky here is, in those days, they had an open-ended schedule.  Meaning, after the Regular Season, you could then schedule exhibition games to make some more money.  Well, Pottsville got the brilliant idea of scheduling a game against the Notre Dame All Stars – Notre Dame being the best college football team of the time by a wide margin (and, some considered, the best football team period) – in hopes of selling a ton of tickets.  Since they wanted to get the most bang for their buck, they scheduled the exhibition game in Philadelphia (where they had more seats to fill).  Unfortunately, there were certain territorial rights (what with there already being an NFL team with its home in Philly) and Pottsville was not allowed to play there.  They did anyway (and won 9-7), but their punishment was having their season suspended right there, with one game left on their regular season schedule.

Chicago, eyeing an opportunity, quickly scheduled 2 more games against teams who’d already disbanded for the season (again, apparently you could do these things at the time).  The Cardinals beat them both handily, ended their season with an 11-2-1 record, and essentially stole the championship from the Maroons (who, for the record, claim they were given verbal permission from the league office before playing the Notre Dame game, so there’s that controversy as well).

And, ever since then?  The Cardinals have failed each and every season.  Miserably.  Punctuated by their heartbreaking defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.

THAT is what we need.  We need to put that kind of curse on the Zombie-Sonics, the team that was stolen from us.  They need to choke on the bitter pill of decades upon decades of losing.  They need their hearts ripped from their chests.

They must NOT win an NBA Championship.  Ever!  They WILL not win an NBA Championship.  Ever.

We’ll call it the Curse of the Seattle Tuba Man.  Our beloved tuba hero who sat outside sporting events in Seattle, playing his tuba and generally making everyone leaving the games feel good.  He was murdered on November 3, 2008, just another calamity to hit this city in that notorious year.  November 3rd, meanwhile, is right around the beginning of the NBA season; the first NBA season without basketball in Seattle in 4 decades.  Granted, OKC’s first game was on October 29th, but let’s face it, most of these Sports Curses are clouded in mystery and misinformation.

The day the Tuba Man died is the same day the NBA was reborn in an undeserving city!  This is our curse to you, Oklahoma City!  You may have some good teams, but you’ll be forever lacking in that elusive championship banner!  So sayeth myself on behalf of the Curse of the Seattle Tuba Man!!!

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