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The Mayo Curse

Male Author


Posts: 189
#1 | Posted: 11 Sep 2017 12:52
This is totally off subject, but hopefully some readers may find it a curious tale.

Mayo won the all-Ireland football final in 1951 for the second year in a row. However on their journey home the victorious team allegedly disrupted a funeral with their celebrations, and the officiating priest was so annoyed that he put a curse on the team, saying they would never win another all-Ireland in the lifetime of any of the players. It took Mayo 38 years to reach another final, which they lost. Since then they have reached a further 7 finals, losing every one of them, sometimes under freakish circumstances.

They have reached the final again this year, so next Sunday (17th) they will make a 9th attempt. With only two survivors left from the 1951 team, time to break the curse must surely be running out. However the signs are not propitious. There is a feeling that the current Mayo team is a team in decline, whereas their opponents, Dublin, are considered by many to be one of the strongest teams ever.

Will Mayo break the curse? Or will they receive another spanking? (Don't you just hate it when people use the word 'spanking' inappropriately to mess up your Google searches?)

If anyone shows the slightest bit of interest, I will let you know the outcome next week.

Male Member


Posts: 1
#2 | Posted: 11 Sep 2017 13:55
Below is from a piece from The Independent written after Benfica lost unluckily to Sevilla in the Europa League final in 2015. There are also stories of curses in Baseball against the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. All of which are total nonesense of course although results say differently...

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus and several of the players laughed off talk of the infamous curse in the buildup to the final, but it has now been 52 years since coach Guttman stormed out and the club has failed in every single one of its subsequent European title clashes.

Known as the Jose Mourinho of his era, Guttman had just led Benfica to back-to-back European Cup victories and the Portuguese club looked set to rule the international stage for years to come.

However, shortly after steering his side to victory over Real Madrid in 1962, Guttman quit when his request for a pay rise was turned down.

On leaving he allegedly cursed the club, declaring "not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever be European champion."

And so far it hasn't.

It has lost to AC Milan (twice), Inter Milan, Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven in the European Cup and Anderlecht, Chelsea and now Sevilla in the Europa League or UEFA Cup as it was formerly known.

The last European Cup final it was involved in was held in Vienna, where Guttman is buried, and legend Eusebio even went to the grave of his former manager to pray for the curse to be lifted.

It had little effect and Benfica remains jinxed.

Jesus bullishly said in the pre-match press conference that he didn't believe in any sort of hoodoo, adding: "most of the players don't even know about these statistics. It's folklore."

However, after once again bemoaning his team's poor luck in a final and saying "the best team did not win the Europa League," Jesus may be rethinking his opinion on the curse.

Benfica fans will be consoling themselves that there only 48 years to go.

Male Author

Posts: 54
#3 | Posted: 11 Sep 2017 16:49
'Will Dublin bate Mayo
Do you think will Dublin beat Mayo
Not if they have Willie Joe
They haven't a hope of beatin' Mayo'

(with apologies to the Saw Doctors.)

Let's all root for the Green & Red.

An interesting thing about sport's curses, Mayo, and Benfica and Boston Red Sox, as mentioned by Oxford (we can ignore Chicago Cubs as they won the World Series in 2016) all feature red prominently in their colours. Perhaps the gods of sport are telling us to keep red where it belongs - on the bottom! (Conveniently forgetting Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, the Rossoneri et al)

Male Author

Posts: 412
#4 | Posted: 11 Sep 2017 16:49
And here I thought the "Mayo Curse" was having to deal with Rosa always asking for mayonnaise instead of ketchup whenever she orders fries.

Male Author


Posts: 144
#5 | Posted: 17 Sep 2017 20:49
Will Mayo break the curse?

Sadly not. Dublin 1-17 : Mayo 1-16. The streak continues.

However, shortly after steering his side to victory over Real Madrid in 1962, Guttman quit when his request for a pay rise was turned down. On leaving he allegedly cursed the club, declaring "not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever be European champion."

Yep, one of the dumbest ownership decisions of all time. Benfica won what's now the Champion's League as the best club soccer team in Europe twice in a row, then had their manager quit because they wouldn't give him a pay raise. And, as Oxford noted, they've been in the dumpster ever since. They dominate Portugal but fail in Europe. They lost to CSKA Moscow 2-1 in their first Champion's League match this year so things don't look promising for a turn-around this year.

legend Eusebio even went to the grave of his former manager to pray for the curse to be lifted.

Phenomenal striker back in the 1960s, got to see him play in 1966 World Cup (top scorer with 9 goals, scored 4 straight goals to bring Portugal back from an 0-3 deficit against North Korea).

Male Author

Posts: 460
#6 | Posted: 17 Sep 2017 21:30
We can also ignore the Boston Red Sox, as well as the Cubs. Their curse ended in 2004 when they won their first World Series since 1918. And did in a spectacular way, overcoming an 0-3 deficit to their archrival, the New York Yankees, in the playoffs.No team had ever overcame an 0-3 deficit in a best of seven postseason series. They have since added World Series wins in 2007 and 2013.
Now its time for Washington DC baseball which has not seen a World Serirs since 1933, or won one since 1924. Or Cleveland, whose last championship was 1948.

Male Author


Posts: 189
#7 | Posted: 18 Sep 2017 00:56
As mj2001 points out, Mayo again lost to Dublin by a single point - the third final they have lost to Dublin by a single point in the last five years. This time they were beaten by a point from a free kick in the last few seconds, after having just hit the post with a free kick of their own at the beginning of injury time. Add to that a point that Dublin scored from another free kick just before half-time, mysteriously awarded when two Dublin players collided with each other with no Mayo players in the vicinity, and even the most skeptical person must begin to wonder if the curse could be genuine. What Mayo needs next time is someone to put a curse on their opponents - although that would probably just ensure an endless series of replayed draws.

Thanks to Oxford for the Guttman/Benfica story - I was unaware of that one. Benfica presumably have more time left to break their curse than Mayo (or, depending on your point of view, Mayo may have less time to wait until they can compete on a level playing field).

Male Author

Posts: 757
#8 | Posted: 18 Sep 2017 22:56
I remember the '68 Manchester United Benfica final - the first football match I saw on TV, being allowed to stay up late to watch it. In my innocence I thought Utd won because they were the better team. Another childhood bubble burst.

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