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Thread: There's a new curse in town.....

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    Default There's a new curse in town.....


    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...ion/index.html


    There's a new curse in town
    Doomed Pacers Nation continues to be plagued by Curse of Tom Owens
    Posted: Thursday October 28, 2004 11:26AM; Updated: Thursday October 28, 2004 11:26AM

    Let the oppression sweepstakes begin. Now that the Curse of the Bambino has been administered the Linda Blair treatment, it's time for another group of beleaguered, long-suffering fans to proclaim that the deities are in cahoots to screw their team.

    Cubs devotees, of course, will be the first to stake their claim. Their team hasn't won the World Series since 1908, and their curse already has a name and a legacy. But the franchise has gotten so corporate of late -- The Tribune Co.'s lawyers rattling their sabers at the rooftop bleachers owners; the mistreatment of Steve Stone for having the audacity to tell the unvarnished truth -- that any misfortune is more karma than curse. Buffalo Bills fans will tell you their team has been under a hex. But how cursed can you be when you've been to four Super Bowls? The football fans in say, Atlanta or New Orleans, would kill for that record. (Plus Buffalo has that whole Vincent Gallo thing to account for.)

    No, the Blog submits that the Indiana Pacers can now claim to be the most doom-struck franchise in sports. We're calling it the Curse of Tom Owens. A little history: after abundant success in the ABA, the Pacers joined the NBA in '76. Since then, misfortune has trailed behind the franchise like a rudder. In the beginning, the team had a singular knack for terrible trades. Adrian Dantley for James Edwards and Alex English for George McGinnis were two of the gems. But the coup de grace came in '81 when the brain trust sent its first-round pick in '84 to Portland for a journeyman named Tom Owens who played a whopping 74 games in Indianapolis. Portland used that pick to select Sam Bowie, but, as we all know, Michael Jordan was still on the board.

    To think: the Pacers could have had Michael Jordan if they hadn't pined for the services of Tom Owens. Babe Ruth for "No, No, Nanette" sounds like an even swap by comparison. (Hell, Sam Bowie for Tom Owens would have been a steal.)

    In the early years, the curse of Tom Owens reared its head on the nights of the draft lottery. In '83, the Pacers should have had the first pick, but Houston tanked the last few games of the regular season. The Rockets won a coin flip and got Ralph Sampson -- say what you will, he led the team to an NBA Final -- while the Pacers landed Steve Stipanovich. The following year the Pacers were due to claim the top pick, but David Stern picked the Knicks' envelope out of a hopper -- to this day, Hoosiers swear it was rigged. New York got Patrick Ewing. Indiana got Wayman Tisdale, who turned out to be a better jazz musician than basketball player. As for Stipanovich, a rare knee injury forced him out of basketball after five seasons and by the time he turned 30, he was running an alfalfa farm in Oregon. Really.

    Not that "Stipo" was alone. Medical conditions are a recurring theme in the Pacers' doomed history. Before he became the skilled goateed announcer he is today, Clark Kellogg was a hell of a power forward for Indiana. Unfortunately his knees were held together by string, glue and popsicle sticks, and he played his last NBA game at age 25. Likewise, two seasons after he made the All-Star team for the first time, center Rik Smits was out of basketball, his feet worn and torn by the rigors of the NBA. Then there's Chuck Person, who won the Rookie of the Year award and then contracted a mysterious disease that seemed to make him genetically incapable of passing the ball to his teammates. Such is the power of the Curse of Tom Owens.

    The Pacers even have their own Bill Buckner moment. In '99, Indiana was up 91-88 against the hated Knicks in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. With six seconds separating the Pacers from victory, New York forward Larry Johnson took an inbound pass and shot. Inexplicably, Indiana's Antonio Davis tapped Johnson on the arm. The shot swished, Davis was whistled for a brain-lock foul. Johnson made the free throw to complete a four-point play. The Knicks won the game and the series.

    When the team's dowdy old home, Market Square Arena, was imploded in '99 -- turned, quite literally, into a parking lot -- Pacers' faithful thought the Curse of Tom Owens, too, would disappear into thin air. The new arena, Conseco Fieldhouse, was a basketball shrine that would surely inaugurate a new era. Wrong. The Pacers reached the Finals that season but lost to the Lakers. Larry Bird then resigned as the team's coach, and the team backslid under the squirrelly successor, Isiah Thomas.

    The Pacers were tantalizingly close to reversing the curse last spring. Under a competent new coach, Rick Carlisle, the team finished the '03-04 regular season with the best record in the NBA. With the East diluted and the Lakers' locker room more contentious than a Disney shareholders meeting, the Pacers' prospects were looking good. Again, disaster. In the waning moments of the crucial Game 6 of the Eastern Conference, the Pacers were leading Detroit. Ron Artest -- the Pacers' answer to Oil Can Boyd, come to think of it -- blew a gasket. After taking a cheap elbow in the groin from Detroit's Rip Hamilton, Artest retaliated by butting Hamilton in the face. Naturally the refs saw the response and not the original act and cited Artest for a technical foul. The Pistons took the lead, won the game, and, of course, humiliated the Lakers in the Finals.

    Now, a few days before another NBA season commences, Pacers Nation is left to ponder this: Can Schilling play the point?


    Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim covers tennis for the magazine and is a regular contributor to SI.com.

  2. #2
    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    I like his description of IT as "squirrelly."
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    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

  3. #3
    canyoufeelit
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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    Longtime Red Sox fan here. I always thought it was shameful to trivialize Ruth's legacy by implying that he was the cause of a franchise's struggles over the years and that the mere notion of a curse was laughable.

    Needless to say this one will never catch on because the Pacers don't have anywhere close to the national following the Sox do and the idea here is much, much stupider.

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    A lot of Lions and Cubs fans are at this article.....

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

    Division Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
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    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    Yeah, this guy's great with his Pacers' history. ed: He should stick with tennis.

    Clark played SF, Herb was the PF. Adrian Dantley, in 1977, had been traded several times because in spite of his ability to score, everybody hated him shortly after the traded for him... the bigger mistake was that was one of the many times we traded away Billy Knight to get Dantley.

    During Chuck's last season in Indiana, he and Pippen were the only two players in the league to average 18+ points, 5+ rebs and 5+ assists per game. Not bad for a guy with that disease. (It may have been 18/6/6, I don't have that in front of me.)

    Tisdale, however, was a better jazz musician than basketball players. And a broken clock is right twice a day, too.

    SI, don't patronize me. There's no curse. This article isn't "cute."

    Pick another team to hang a curse on, or call it the curse of Rick Robey.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    Quote Originally Posted by PacerMan
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoufeelit
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    Longtime Red Sox fan here. I always thought it was shameful to trivialize Ruth's legacy by implying that he was the cause of a franchise's struggles over the years and that the mere notion of a curse was laughable.

    Needless to say this one will never catch on because the Pacers don't have anywhere close to the national following the Sox do and the idea here is much, much stupider.
    National following?
    Since when?
    The Sox, along with the Cubs, have a huge sympathy following. Plus all Yankee-haters are at least partially Sox fans.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

  7. #7

    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    curses are BS.

    The Red Sox lost in 1967 because Bob Gibson was unbeatable

    in 1975 because the Reds were a little bit better

    in 1978 because they had no bench and wore out the starters, so the Yankees caught up. Bucky Dent was a fluke, but flukes happen all the time in a one game season.

    in 1986 partly because the manager changed his tactic of removing Bill Buckner for a defensive replacement

    in 2003 because Grady Little refused to "disrespect" Pedro by removing him in the middle of an inning until it was too late.

    All of the Cub failures can probably be explained by similar bad moves.

    The Pacers had similar front office dysfunction until Donnie Walsh came.

    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    SI, don't patronize me. There's no curse. This article isn't "cute."
    That's pretty much what I thought after reading the article as well.

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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....


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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    ESPN has jumped on the "curse" bandwagon. Where do the Pacers rank?

    #13

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...=cursed/041029


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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    "Curse of Darnell Hillman's Afro"

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    Member indytoad's Avatar
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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    "Last title: None" is a little unfair as well, especially since they counted the Bills' last AFL title.

    IndyToad
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    ENABEABLER MagicRat's Avatar
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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    That article doesn't hold a candle to Doug in CT's "Apologies to my 6 year old" post..................


    Dear Son -

    I am sorry your father has turned you into a Pacers fan - but as long as I have, let me tell you what you have to look forward to.

    Heartache.

    This is an organization that is just good enough to make it to the Conference Finals - but wins it fewer than 20% of the time. This is a team that always seems close - but never is close enough... let me digress - do not let me turn you into a Colts fan as well - there is a curse involved with the Indianapolis teams that is stronger than even the Red Sox curse (you see, those people have the Patriots)... back to the Pacers.

    I am sorry that the team you root for has no backcourt - and the 2 guard that used to have balls the size of Montana now can't even make a free throw in the clutch. I am sorry I subjected you to game 5 where you so astutely asked - 'how come Reggie never shoots?'

    And I am really sorry that Jonathon Bender - someone who has been on the team almost as long as you have been alive - still has not developed into a player that could even carry a mediocre player from Kentucky's jock.

    I am sorry that Ron Artest will break your heart again - he is our headache, and he will contunue to be for the foreseeable future.

    I am sorry that Al Harrington never became as good as a Davis.

    I am sorry that you root for a team whose secret weapon is a guy from Providence who couldn't guard you.

    I am sorry that I let you get sucked in with me - thinking that this was the year - the year with the home court. Hope can be a cruel mistress.

    It is not too late - you can become a bandwagon fan and actually celebrate a championship in your lifetime. Hurry, change your allegiances. You can actually change them every year - many people do that.

    Because son, this just hurts too damn much - and it happens every year. Every f-ing year.
    PSN: MRat731 XBL: MRat0731

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade
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    ESPN has jumped on the "curse" bandwagon. Where do the Pacers rank?

    #13

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...=cursed/041029

    ok, if they want to list the Lions #14, fine, but.....

    CURSE OF THE TURKEY?

    Um, newsflash moron, there's another team that plays on thanksgiving day, too. They're called the DALLAS COWBOYS.

    If he had done any research, he'd know the Lions were purchased by the Fords on the day Kennedy was shot.....

    TUrkey curse...thats just ridiculous.....


    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

    Division Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
    Conference Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 2005
    NBA Champions 1989, 1990, 2004

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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: There's a new curse in town.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shade
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    ESPN has jumped on the "curse" bandwagon. Where do the Pacers rank?

    #13

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...=cursed/041029

    ok, if they want to list the Lions #14, fine, but.....

    CURSE OF THE TURKEY?

    Um, newsflash moron, there's another team that plays on thanksgiving day, too. They're called the DALLAS COWBOYS.

    If he had done any research, he'd know the Lions were purchased by the Fords on the day Kennedy was shot.....

    TUrkey curse...thats just ridiculous.....
    Actually, the Colts are #14. The Lions are #15.

    We're more cursed than you are.

    Wait...

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