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Article:Apostrophe (05/20/08)

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Not the typical style article of this series, but it still comes from the mind of Apostrophe...

For years the failures of certain historic sports franchises are explained and excused because they are known to be cursed. These curses simply are excuses to cover up the inequity of particular franchises' inability to bring win a major championship in their sport. The idea of a curse on a franchise or even a city marvels fans; creating an interest and entertainment.

001Billy Penn

Stand Tall Billy, Stand Tall...

Curses on franchises essentially give reasoning to fans. They help to explain the unexplainable, to excuse all forms of realistic reasoning. As any fan of any sport would say, "A curse on a team means that there is almost nothing that team can do to succeed at the highest level and bring home a championship."

It doesn't take much to think of these curses. Even the most casual of fans know about the former Curse of the Bambino. Most likely fans know about the curse on the Chicago Cubs, the Curse of the Billy Goat. The Curse of Billy Penn not only covers a particular franchise but every major sporting franchise in Philadelphia. Familiar with these curses? Good because real or not, they are superstitions in which every fan should be in the know.

Now for an awkward jump from one subject to another...

The four top tier professional sports leagues in the country are the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, and National Basketball Association. Three of these leagues utilize seven game series in the playoffs to determine the next round; the exceptions being the National Football League and Major League Baseball's first round. Out of all these hundreds of series that have been played throughout the illustrious history of these sports, three teams have ever come back from being down three games to zero in a seven game series.

The ongoing series between the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League marks the 1036 seven game series in the history of the four major sports. The Dallas Stars will attempt to comeback from being down three games to zero in a seven game series, the 271 occurrence throughout history. Out of those 271 series there has only been three instances in which a team has come back in the series to win the next four games to win the series. These teams were the 1941-42 Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), 1974-75 New York Islanders (NHL), and 2004 Boston Red Sox (MLB).


Curses don't have to break this way...

Most notably of all three of these series uncoincidentally is the series involving the 2004 Boston Red Sox coming back to defeat the New York Yankees. The series was a turning-point in the franchise's history, as well as a turning-point in the franchise's fortunes. After winning the series, the Red Sox went onto the World Series; breaking the Curse of the Bambino during the process.

So how do these two subjects tie together? It is simply a matter of the two ingredients necessary for Syndrome 2004...

In the three plus one-half years since this remarkable series comeback in 2004, there have been numerous times in which a team has gone down three to nothing. Each and every time this has happened, fans and reporters alike claim, "This series isn't over," and, "The 2004 Red Sox came back from a three to nothing deficit. If they can do it, our team can too." Realistically, this is almost never the case. In Philadelphia, Syndrome 2004 has stuck and gone to far to the extreme.

The four major sports franchises of Philadelphia has now gone over the century mark in seasons played without a major championship. It is safe to say that the Curse of Billy Penn may just be true. The fans here are desperate for a championship. They are looking for something anything to turn these fortunes around. What has the City of Brotherly Love come up with now? The stupid theory, now to be coined now as Syndrome 2.4.


Maybe one day we'll see a championship...

What is this idea? Well, some of the more casual fans have decided that the only way for Philadelphia to break its infamous curse is to pull of a miracle feat. Moreover, winning a seven game series after being down three games to none. The theory is that when the Red Sox did this back in 2004, they essentially had broken the curse and it was just a matter of time before they won the World Series.

Yes, the idea is preposterous. Why would a team need to go down three to nothing in order to break a curse? What about the Curse of the Chicago Black Sox? That franchise broke their curse in 2005, after eighty-eight years, without any sort of dramatic come-from-behind play. But then again, there must be something wrong with the water in Philadelphia. That would explain why over twenty-five years later, this historic city of sports still is thirsty and now delusional for its next championship...

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