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The Sports Illustrated Jinx Exposed


Does being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated cause future decrements in performance?

Many coaches, athletes, sports fans and sports commentators seem to think so.  It’s common to hear talk of a so-called “Sports Illustrated Jinx,” that is, the notion that being featured on the cover leads to bad-luck that negatively affects future performance.

Examples of the Sports Illustrated Jinx (Wikipedia excerpts):

“May 26, 1958: Race car driver Pat O’Connor appears on the cover of the magazine. He dies four days later on the first lap of the Indianapolis 500.

August 7, 1978: Pete Rose appears on the cover the same week that his 44-game hitting streak ended.

One Comment to
The Sports Illustrated Jinx Exposed

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  1. Nice puncturing of a really pervasive sports myth. The idea of regression to the mean is one of those concepts that our brains just don’t find intuitive. It reminds me of the idea of hot streaks in sports, and how we convince ourselves that because a player has hit a few shots in a row, they are more likely to hit their next one. In fact, these streaks are usually just the product of random chance, and we fool ourselves into thinking they are real because we are so bad at perceiving randomness.

    Article here: http://axonpotential.com/there-are-no-such-thing-as-hot-streaks/

 

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