The Mayo Curse and the All Ireland football final



Some of us from New England that grew up with the Red Sox and Ted Williams occasionally blamed the Curse of the Bambino for not winning the World Series.  I did not. That is if we ever got even close to getting into the World Series.

The Curse of the Bambino was a superstitious sports curse evolving from the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series in the 86-year period from 1918 to 2004. While some fans took the curse seriously, most used the expression in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

This misfortune began after the Red Sox sold star player Babe Ruth (sometimes nicknamed “The Bambino“) for $125,000 to the New York Yankees after the 1919 season.  Before that point, the Red Sox had been one of the most successful professional baseball franchises, winning the first World Series and amassing five of the first fifteen World Series titles.  After the sale, they went without a title for nearly a century, as the previously lackluster Yankees became one of the most successful professional sports franchises in North America. The curse became a focal point of the Yankees–Red Sox rivalry over the years.

Talk of the curse as an ongoing phenomenon ended in 2004 when the Red Sox came back from a 0–3 deficit to beat the Yankees in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series (ALCS), and then swept the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series.

The curse had been such a part of Boston culture that when a “reverse curve” road sign on Longfellow Bridge over the city’s busy Storrow Drive was graffitied to read “Reverse The Curse,” officials left it in place until the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series. After the World Series that year, the road sign was edited to read “Reversed Curse” in celebration.

On to Croke Park and the 2020 All Ireland Football Final.  Dublin has won the title 5 years in a row, Mayo not since 1951 when the “Curse” was put on them.

There is a tradition in the GAA of blaming the defeat on a force greater than human sporting abilities.

Curses and superstitions are common in the history and folklore of the GAA.  They intensify most often when teas wish to explain away a frustrating lack of success.  Win and the curse is broken and banished forever.  Lose and that curse will follow a team until they can prove otherwise.

The story of the so-called curse dates back to the last All-Ireland win for the county in 1951.  The Mayo team were traveling back west from Dublin after claiming the title.

According to the story, the team, traveling in the back of a truck, passed a funeral in the town of Foxford without paying their respects and stopping.  A curse was then supposedly put on them, which meant they would not win an All-Ireland again until every member of that team had died.  The story claims a priest or a woman put the curse on them.

Two members of the team are still alive today, Dr. Padraig Carney who lives in the US, and Paddy Prendergast who lives in Kerry.

Oh, ya back to the final…Dublin won again.


Credits to Wikipedia and the Irish Mirror

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